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LL<OU 158827 >m 

fimania Mntoerait? 

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Accession No. ./. 














C. U. Press-Reg. No. !280B~April, 1941-E. 






SYNOPSIS ... ... ... ix-xviii 

FOREWORD ... ... xviii(a)-xviii(c) 

PREFACE ... ... ... xix-xxiv 

INTRODUCTION ... ... ... xxv-xliii 

CHAPTER I The Indian Background ... 1-25 

CHAPTER II The Central Asian Back- 
ground ... ... ... 26-44 

CHAPTER III -The Pendulum Oscillates 45-69 

CHAPTER IV The Period of Quest (The 

IbadatKhana) ... ... 70-96 

Appendix A . The Muslim Rulers 
of the 16th century (The 
Mahzar) ... ... 97-115 

Appendix B. Three Paintings of 

the Ibadat Khana ... 116-120 

CHAPTER V The Forces at Work ... 121-213 
Section 1 . The Sunnis at the 

Court of Akbar ... 121-127 

Section 2. The Shias at the Court 

of Akbar ... ... 127-135 

Section 3. The Hindus at the 

Court of Akbar ... 135-147 



Section 4. The Zoroastrians at 

the Court of Akbar ... 147-157 

Section 5. The Jains at the Court 

of Akbar ... ... 157-162 

Section 6. The Sikhs at the 

Court of Akbar ... 162-165 

Section 7. The Buddhists at the 

Court of Akbar ... ... 165-169 

Section 8. The Jews at the Court 

of Akbar ... ... 169-170 

Section 9. The Christians at the 

Court of Akbar ... 170-213 

CHAPTER VI The Period of Legisla- 
tions (the Ains) ... ... 213-267 

Appendix. Badauni and his 
Muntakhabu-t T w a r i k h 
(Mulla point of view criticised) 268-275 
CHAPTER VII The Din-i-Ilahi in 

Promulgation ... ... 276-289 

CHAPTER VIII The Din-i-Ilahi in 

Movement ... ... 290-309 

BIBLIOGRAPHY ... ... 310-320 






Alleged intolerance in Islam Arabian Islam contrast- 
ed Islam in the hands of the Turks Motive of Turki 
invaders Religion an incentive to spirit of conquest and 
murder Ghazni, Ghori, II tut mi sh, Alauddin, Timur 
Peculiarity of Indian conquest by Turks, never so thorough 
as in Persia Islam and Hinduism influence each other 
Instances of mutual actions and reactions Process of 
fusion Rise of Saints : Ramanand, Kabir, Chaitanya. 
Nanak and others Advent of Sufi teachers : Ma'inuddin 
Chishti, Bahlol, Shamsuddin Tabrezi, Nizamuddin Awlia, 
etc. Fusion through literature Anti-caste movements 
Sufism, its origin Sufi practices Indian influence 
Growth of sects in Islam Idea of Millennium Mehdi 
movement 16th century an age of enquiry Renaissance 
in Europe A world wave Islam not excluded Mubarak, 
Sarhindi and others Soil prepared Akbar product of the 
age, not an accident. Pp. 1-25 


Heredity of Akbar Chengiz on maternal side not 
without finer elements of nature, his views on religion 
Mongol spirit of free thinking and eclecticism Kublei 
Khan, a great representative of the Mongol race 
Buddhist leanings Timur on paternal side, his history 
prejudiced and biased Timur the conqueror Timur the 


man Timur the mystic Central Asian traits of his charac- 
ter Saint worship Love for learning and the learned 
Timur 's descendants, Shah Rukh, Ulag Beg, Abu Sayed 
Mirza, not barbarians Babar the romantic, his wine cups 
and poems, his religious professions Humayun the mystic, 
his religious apostasy and Shiaism Both father and son 
unfettered by religious scruples Timurid traits, love of 
books and mystic regard for the saints, and their tombs in 
the family Akbar the best product of the two greatest 
houses of Central Asia Birth in a Hindu house in Sind, 
the land of Sufism Legacy of Timur, of birth place, of 
spirit of the age Eclecticism of Akbar not an accident. 

Pp. 26-44 

THE PENDULUM OSCILLATES (Political Background) 

The troubles of Akbar's early life, a period of pre- 
parations His impressionableness Bairam Khan arid, 
Shaikh Gudai (Shia Sadr), the Iron hand Maham Anaga ; 
and petticoat government Hindu alliance and its 
consequences Hindu alliances nothing new in Indo- 
Islamic History Hindu-Muslim political rapprochement 
'Cultural and social contact already on the anvil Rigidity 
of both sides toned down Akbar's heredity and Indian en- 
vironments helpful Akbar's natural contemplativeness 
Mystic elements of his nature Sufi tendencies of the age 
Saint Salim Chishti Sunni state clergy Abdu-n Nabi, 
the Sadr-us-Sudur Abdulla Sultanpmi, the Mukhdunvul- 
Mulk Their influence Akbar an orthodox Sunni 
under their guidance Political conquests Administrative 
changes Qazis found out and dismissed Land settle- 
ments Branding regulations, dissatisfaction of Jagirdars 
Conquest of Guzrat Contact with the Portuguese 
Shaikh Mubarak's address Suggestions at Mujtahidship, 
its meaning Buckler's criticism of Infallibility Decree of 


1579 Bengal conquest Soleiman Kararani, his 150 
Ulama and Friday Prayer Hall Invitation of his uncle 
Mirza Soleiman of Badakshan His Reception Hall 
The Ibadat Khana built No connection with Faizi and 
Abul Fazl Akbar 's profoundly religious bent of mind 
Quotations from Badauni. Pp. 45-69 

THE PERIOD OF QUEST (The Ibadat Khana) 

The Ibadat Khana not a new thing Its precedents 
Description of the Ibadat Khana A summary of 
its debates Mohsin Fani's Dabistan-i-Mazahib Mulla 
behaviour undignified Akbar unnerved at the conduct of 
the Mullas Division of seats Intolerance of the Mullas 
Gradual weakening of confidence in contemporary Mulla 
interpretations of Islam A new quest, a step forward 
The Ibadat Khana opened to non-Muslims Akbar still 
a devout Musalman Instances of his religiosity Abul 
Fazl's advent Todar Mai's revenue settlements Ains 
(regulations), social, political and economic Discontent 
in the circle of vested interests Murder of a Mathura 
Brahmin, its significance Bengal rebellion, its causes 
partly political and partly religious Persian interference 
in favour of Mirzas of Kabul against Akbar Persian 
pretensions over Hindustan The so-called Infallibility 
Decree more political than religious Buckler's Lectures 
Forces at work (Sunni, Shia, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, 
Zoroastrian, Jew and Christian) and Metamorphosis 
The Ibadat Khana closed. Pp. 70-96 

Appendix A 

Mahzar examined in the light of contemporary 
political events of Islam. Pp. 97-1 15 


Appendix B 

Three paintings of the Mughal Court at the time of 
Akbar. Pp. 116-20 


I. The Sunnis. 2. The Shias. 3. The Hindus. 
4. The Zoroastrians. 5, The Jains. 6. The Sikhs. 
7. The Buddhists. 8. The Jews. 9. The Christians. 

Section /. The Sunnis at the Court of 

Akbar a Sunni by birth Timur a Sunni by force 
of circumstances Babar and Humayun Sunnis by 
their creeds Bairam Khan a Shia Abdu n Nabi the 
Sadr-us-Sudur and Abdulla Sultanpuri the Mukdum-ul- 
Mulk Sunni influence on Akbar Sunni orthodoxy and 
Mehdi movement Akbar a party to religious persecu- 
tionEarly Sunni predominance in the Ibadat Khana 
Sunni leaders exposed Abdu-n Nabi's mismanage- 
ment in land distribution Abdulla Sultanpuri 's time- 
serving propensities in giving religious decisions regarding 
pilgrimage and marriage Sunni attitude towards Hindu 
appointments in the state Opening of the Ibadat Khana 
to non-Sunnis and ultimately to non-Muslims Sunni 
participation in the Bengal rebellion Misinterpretation of 
Akbar by the Sunnis, their motives. Pp. 121-27 

Section //. The Shias at the Court of 

General outline of Shia-Sunni differences Shia 
connections of Babar and Humayun Akbar 's early 
Shia associations in Persia, land of his exile Bairam 
Khan's Shia state policy Shaikh Gudai, the Shia Sadr-us- 


Sudur Bairam Khan's fall and that of Shias from power 
Appointment of the Sunni Sadr The Ibadat Khana not 
open to the Shias The marriage question and the advent 
of the Shias into the Ibadat Khana The Gilani brothers, 
Abul Fath, Hakim Humayun and Hakim Nuruddin, and 
their influence on Akbar Nurulla appointed the Shia Qazi 
of Lahoie Muhammad Yazdi Shia-Sunni debates The 
Shia Ulama no less orthodox than the Sunni Akbar in 
quest of " light " elsewhere Formation of the famous 
Forty " Adoption of the Persian festivals, not out of 
hatred of Islam but out of regard for the love of the 
ancient glory of mystic Persia. Pp. 127-35 

Section III. The Hindus at the Court oj Akbar 

Hindu assistance invaluable in the early days of Akbar f s 
Empire Akbar the first Chogtai Turk born in India Poli- 
tical wisdom in recognition of merit wherever found 
Hindu appointments in the army and revenue depart- 
ments Sher Shah's precedents Religious persecution 
only confined to Believers, but Hindus outside it Hindu 
servants invited into the Ibadat Khana in its thiid stage 
Hindu books translated Hindu Saints: Tulsidas, Dadu, 
Mirabai, Surdas, Purshuttom and Devi- Birbal's influence 
Sun worship Hindu wives, their position and status 
after marriage, their religion Hindu customs in the Muslim 
harem through Hindu wives Akbar 's gratitude towards 
Hindus His birth in a Hindu house His early political 
associates: Behari Mai, Bhagwan Das and Man Singh 
Akbar 's criticism of Hindu theory of Incarnation His 
reforms of social customs of Hindus His adoption of 
Hindu festivals Eclectic spirit. Pp. 135-47 

List of the Hindu Learned men at the Court. 
List of Hindu Commanders at the Court. 


Section IV . The Zoroastrians at the Court of 

Akbar's first acquaintance with Zoroastnan priests in 
1 573 Invitation of Dastur Mahayarji Rana Prof. Karkaria 
doubts Mahayarji Rana's visit Karkaria 's objections 
untenable Azar Kaivan Kaikobad Zoroastrian fire- 
worship Hindu wives' * Horn ' and sacrifices Accept- 
ance of the Sun, Fire and Star festivals- Zoroastrian 
calendar Solar Era Parsee ' Zunnar ' and ' Qusek-' 

Was Akbar a Zoroastrian by creed? Zoroastrian 
influence greatest on him after Islam The Sun, Fire and 
Star relics of his Central Asian beliefs Recitation of 
1 ,000 names of the Sun Idea of repetition from Sufi 
formulas and Hindu Yogis Fire cult of Birbal Acquaint- 
ance with Fire through Hindu wives Efficacy of rituals 
Acceptance of Yoga (repetition) due not to apostasy but 
to eclecticism of the age. 

Parsee festivals adopted as much as Hindu or 
Christian Persian element in court Inclusion of Parsee 
festivals in the official Civil List Solar Era more scientific 
than Lunar Era Akbar's attitude to Zoroastrian doctrines 
and faith Quotations from the debates of the Ibadat 
Khana. Pp. 147-57 

Section V . The Jains at the Court of 

No trace of Jain influence on Akbar's religious view* 
found by early historians Smith's references to the 
Jain Sashana of Benares of 1910 Invitation of 
Hiravijaya in 1582 Acceptance of the invitation 
Hiravijaya, Bhanuchandra Upadhyay and Vijaysen Suri 
Jain influence on Akbar Doctrine of non-killing and 
non-killing regulations Release of prisoners and caged 
birds Fishing at Dabul stopped Royal hunting pro- 
hibited Akbar read Surya Sahasranama with Bhanu- 
chandra Shiddhichandra Jain influence continued even 
after Akbar 's death. Pp. 157-62 


Section VI. The Sikhs at the Court of Akbar 
Sikhism only a local creed at the advent of Akbar 
Umar Das and Akbar Akbar granted lands to Ram 
Das Amritsar or Pool of Immortality built Site of 
modem Amritsar Guru Arjun Compilation of Granth 
Sahib Akbar 's tolerance helpful to Sikh growth Guru 
Arjun and Khasru's rebellion Mohsin Fani's testimony. 

Pp. 162-65 

Section VII. The Buddhists at the Court o 

Absence of direct information about Buddhist 
participation Elphinstone, Von Noer and Smith silent 
Dabistan silent Christian testimony one-sided Abul 
Fazl's passing reference Badauni's direct testimony 
Portraits in the Poona archives Father Heras identified 
the Buddhist Sramans in one portrait Akbar's non-killing 
policy partly due to Buddhist influence. Pp. 165-69 

Section VIII. The Jews at the Court of Akbar 

The Jews in the role of disputants in the Ibadat Khana 
Jew-Shia-Sunni debates Jew-Muslim debates Jew- 
Christian debates Points of difference Jews not much 
honoured Akbar's disbelief in the Miracles of Moses 
No formative influence from Judaism. Pp. 169-70 

Section IX. The Christians at the Court of Akbar 

Akbar's first acquaintance with the Christians in 
1572 Akbar's enquiry about their civilisation and reli- 
gion Ibadat Khana discussions amongst Believers 
Invitation to Goa Motive behind the invitation No clue, 
neither from native nor from Portuguese historians 
Defects of the Muslim court chroniclers Defects of the 
Jesuit version How far they may be accepted Instances 


of their mistakes Blunders of historians who depended 
on Portuguese versions alone, e.g., Gustav von Buch- 
wald and Dr. Smith Brief criticism of Smith's Portuguese 
references Similarity of motives to prove Akbar's apos- 
tasy Purpose of the invitation Smith's view, politics 
and diplomacy combined Maclagan's awful suggestions 
Payne's view, religio-political Moreland's intelligent 
grasp of the events Akbar's religious urge the immediate 
cause and political advantages the remote effect of the 
invitation No political motive behind the Zoroastrian, 
Jain and Jewish invitations, then why impute it to the 

The First Mission (1579) Its members Rudolf Aquaviva 
and Father Monserrate Splendid reception at Sikri de- 
bates Points of dispute Akbar's eclectic nature favour- 
able to Christian priests The Bible translated The priests 
mistook his liberalism as leaning towards Christianity 
Mull as angry at Akbai's liberalism towards Christians 
Hence Mullas misinterpreted him The politico-religious 
rebellion of 1580 Measures adopted to prevent future 
rebellions Unauthorised Mosques, Maktabs and Qurans 
destroyed Akbar adopted Christian festivals, bells, etc. 
Interference of the clergymen in politics Portuguese 
at Goa at war with the Imperial Governor in Guzrat 
Smith's one-sided reflections Discussion on Smith's obser- 
vations Charge of duplicity against Akbar not justified 
Akbar's magnanimity Break-up of the First Mission, 
immediate cause Akbar defended Mullas in debates 
Immediate break-up averted by Abul Fazl Proposed 
embassy to Spain and to Papacy Possibility of a triple 
alliance against Khalifa of Rum First Mission dissolved 
Rudolf murdered by mob Effect of the Misson. 

The Second Mission Lull in the Portuguese activities 
f rom 1 583 to 1 59 1 Leo Grimon a Greek Sub-Deacon 
Translation of Greek books Grimon charged with two 


letters to Goa His description of Akbar's apostasy due to 
his misreading of Akbar's regulations Grimon's descrip- 
tion put fresh energies into the missionary activities the 
Second Mission formed Leiton and Vega, their incapacity 
and impatience Sudden break-up of the Mission Causes 
of the break-up Fathers' worthlessness and Akbar's pre- 
occupations Mission entirely fruitless. 

The Third Mission Dissatisfaction on both sides for 
the sudden break-up of the Second Mission Third invita- 
tion accepted in 1 59-1 Third Mission formed Father 
Xavier and Emmanuel Pinherio Three periods: (1) Lahore 
period (1 594-98), no regular debates Description of Akbar's 
apostasy by Christian Priests and Muslim Mullas Fire at 
Lahore Priests attributed the fire to Akbar's apostasy and 
God's wrath Akbar's alleged unsympathetic behaviour 
towards priests explained by his grief at Murad's death 
and. war with Khandesh Siege of Anircjarh and treachery 
of the Christians found out Smith's suggestion refuted 
by Payne Akbar's generosity in handing over the 
Portuguese captives to Xavier Embassy to Goa 
(2) Tourist period fl 598- 1601) not important (3) Agra 
period (1601-05) Largest number at court General 
permission for conversion Pinherio at Lahore Quarrel 
with Viceroy Quliz Khan Quliz transferred Xavier at 
Agra His discussions with Akbar English Mildenhall 
and his opposition to the Portuguese Rivalry Death of 
Akbar Portuguese transfer their interest to Jahangir. 

Pp. 170-213 

Review of the age Regulations of Akbar between 1 575 
and 1595 Classification of the regulations into groups, 
social, economic and political Mistaken for religion 
and misinterpreted by the orthodox section from religious 
C I280B 


standpoint Mulla point of view represented by Badauni 
Chronological summary of the Regulations Discussions 
on the regulations Islamic Canons of Test Akbar's Anti- 
Islamism criticised in the light of history and theology. 

Pp. 21 3-67 


Life of Mulla Abdul Qadir Badauni His view-point 
His angularities His judgment prejudiced and coloured 
His inconsistencies How far is his Muntakhabat reliable? 

Pp. 268-75 


Significance of tne promulgation Bartoli, Badauni 
and Smith criticised Principles of the Din-i-Ilahi 
Mohsin Fani's Ten Commandments Practices mistaken 
by Badauni as Principles, hence misinterpretations 
Priests Initiation Symbol of brotherhood and " chelas " 
The " Shast " Prayer Individual practices Burial, 
cremation, shaving, etc. Pp. 276-89 


Measures adopted by Akbar for the propagation of 
the Din-i-Ilahi No missionary, no propaganda, no priest 
" The Forty " Abdals (Chihil Tanan} Who accepted it? 
Two groups of disciples Names of the chief disciples 
Contribution of the Ibadat Khana to the Din i-Ilahi Abul 
Fazl, Faizi and Mubarak in the circle Islamic background 
of the Ten Commandments Parallel passages from the 
Quarn and Sufi Saints Motives behind new practices of 
Akbar How far was the Din-i-Ilahi a Sufi order? Was it 
anti-Islamic? Did Akbar cease to be a Muslim? Esti- 
mate of Akbar in the light of the Din-i-Ilahi, Pp. 290-309 


1 have great pleasure in commending to students 
of the Mughal period of the Indian History, 
Prof. Makhanlal Roy Choudhury's book on the 
Din-i-Ilahi or the religion of Akbar. While all the 
biographies of Akbar contain some reference to the 
subject dealt with in this book, yet there is no 
work which deals elaborately and specifically with 
this important theme. Prof. Roy Choudhury has 
brought to the discussion of Akbar 's religion a 
profound study of the original sources, and has also 
carried on research on his own account, with the 
result that his book is a masterly exposition of the 
Din-i-Ilahi of Akbar. The work is planned on an 
extensive scale, and is not only sound and instruc- 
tive but also highly interesting. After having 
surveyed the historical and cultural background of 
Akbar 's period, the author describes at length the 
various forces that were at work at that time. He 
then deals with the various religious communities, 
who, as important factors at the Court of Akbar, 
contributed their respective shares to the evolution 
of the Din-i-Ilahi the Sunnis, the Shias, the 
Hindus, the Jains, the Sikhs, the Buddhists, the 
Parsis, the Jews and, last but not the least, the 
Christians. The author accurately summarises the 
results of the impact of these various communities 
at the Court of Akbar and the resultant trend 

xviii(fc) FOREWORD 

thereof which ultimately culminated in the estab- 
lishment of the Din-i-Ilahi. 

Covering, as the book does, an extensive 
ground, it is not possible that all the conclusions of 
the author will find ready acceptance. To take 
but one of the many controversial points in the 
book, I may refer to the author's conclusions about 
the religion of Akbar himself. It is well-known 
that various historians of Akbar 's period, and also 
his biographers, have come lo the conclusion 
that Akbar practically and some hold, even for- 
mally and openly renounced Islam. Of these, 
the late Mr. Vincent Smith, an eminent writer of 
Indian history, in his life of Akbar, is definitely 
of opinion that Akbar renounced Islam. The 
author does not share that view. He holds, on the 
contrary, that inspite of his having founded the 
Din-i-Ilahi, Akbar continued to be a Muslim to the 
last ; and he attributes, what he regards as a 
wrong conclusion on the part of Vincent Smith, 
to his having misread the original text on the 
subject. But the author is, no doubt, aware that 
almost all contemporary writers hold that he was 
not at all a believer in Islam. And it cannot be 
said that there are no reliable materials and data 
from which we may justly come to that conclusion. 
At the same time, students of Indian history of 
Akbar 's period will be deeply interested in the 
study of the facts brought together by the author in 
support of the view propounded by him that 

FOREWORD xviii(c) 

Akbar remained a Muslim to the last chapter of his 
life. It is not my duty to take sides in this highly 
interesting controversy between the author and 
several of his predecessors. But I have referred to 
this one particular point, as showing how the mate- 
rials of Indian history are still undergoing a process 
of re-interpretation, and to what extent the author 
has made a contribution towards it. His book is 
learned and luminous, and should attract wide 
attention in circles interested in the study of the 
Mughal period of Indian history. 


PATNA. [ Vice-Chancellor, 

The 1st July, 1941. l Patna University. 


The history of India is yet to be written. 
Formerly we read the history of kings, queens, 
battles, and sieges. To-day we read the history 
of men and thoughts. The perspective of history 
has changed nay, it has been revolutionised. No 
longer a student is satisfied with the old review 
of things. History is now a science of man the 
man within, and the man in the world and outside. 
Every age has a philosophy of its own and man 
interprets that philosophy by the life he lives. 
History is the study of that philosophy interpret- 
ed by examples the actions of the individual 
unconsciously form the spokes in the wheel of 
progress. No event is isolated and no action is 
complete by itself. If the trasformation of energy 
explains the evolution of the Universe of matter, 
the individual thoughts and actions reveal and 
accelerate the progress of the Universe of mind. 
The present comes out of the womb of the past 
and the future is embedded in the present. There 
is an unbroken continuity through the past, present 
and future. 

In the onward flow of civilization, we some- 
times come across waves and curves which often 
find explanation in the actions of the individuals. 
But they must not be taken in isolation. They 


generally form the parls of vaster current flowing 
through different channels. But they are nothing 
if not movements of the Universal current flowing 
through all ages. When there is a sudden up- 
heaval in one country at a particular period of time., 
there is a vibration in every direction in the 
common level. This is particulaily true of the 
great upheaval of the 16th century of Indian 
history I mean, the age of Akbar. It was an 
age of Renaissance in Europe, of Mehdi move- 
ment in Islam, IVIiug revival in China, and of 
the Sufi forces and Bhakti cult in India. In the 
16th century of the Christian era, every civilised 
country in the world was pulsating with a new life ; 
new orders of things were on the anvil, vigorous 
dynasties appealed -in England the Tudors, 
in France the Bourbons, in Spain and Austria 
the Hapsburgs, in Prussia the Hohenzollems, 
in Turkey the Osmanlis, in Egypt the Mamluks, 
in Persia the Safavis, in Transoxiana the Saha- 
banids, in China the Mings, in India the Timurids 
all in the same period. Greatness of the indivi- 
dual k'ngs rather realised the spirit of the Age 
Henry VIII and Elizabeth in England, Henry IV 
in France, Fredrick William in Prussia, Sigismund 
in Austria, Philip II in Spain, Soleiman in Turkey, 
Shah Ismail and Shah Tahmasp in Persia, the 
Sahabani Khan in Transoxiana, Yung Lo in China 
and Babar and Akbar in India. Indeed the unison 
was perfect. 


European writers on the Timurids in India 
tried to explain the life and actions of the great 
Emperor Akbar as mere accidents. They made an 
isolated study of Akbar without reference to the 
Central Asian background, neglecting the unity 
of the Islamic movements of the period. The 
range of their study was circumscribed by the 
conception of history current in the 1 9th century . 
They interpreted the facts of Timurid India as 
mere isolated accidental happenings. Few of 
them tried to enter into the spirit that inspired 
the movement of Indian events their currents 
and cross currents. Their life was different and 
the perspective was exclusive. As such their 
interpretations of Indian history were coloured by 
their predilections. They depended on the contem- 
porary writers on Muslim India who were mere 
narrators of events. These writers were ecclesias- 
tics, merchants, adventurers and travellers. The 
scope of their writings was determined by the 
nature of the professions to which they belonged. 
Even stray acquaintance with Muslim chronicles 
did not alter their angle of vision, because almost 
all the Muslim chroniclers were mere writers of 
events (waqia nawis), and their conception of 
history may be gathered from the name they 
gave to history " Tuoari^h " (date records). 
Thus in the light of stereotyped conception of 
history, with materials of doubtful value furnished 
by contemporary European recorders of events 


and with chronicles maintained by Muslim chrono- 
logists at their command, the European historians 
failed in many cases to offer reliable interpretations 
of Indo-Muslim thoughts and events. Moreover 
most of the early English writers were obsessed 
with a feeling of superiority when they wrote the 
history of the conquered people of India specially 
of the Muslims from whom they conquered Hindu- 
stan. They laid stress on Akbar as a conqueror, 
as an empire-builder and as an administrator. 
They showered encomiums on Akbar for his 
personal qualities, for his versatility. Certainly 
Akbar deserves a good deal of what has been 
said of him as a builder of the Timurid empire 
in India and as a founder of some institutions 
which survive even to-day. But that is only one 
side of the medal. The explanation of Akbar 's 
life and contemporary events is incomplete unless 
they are treated in the spirit of the atmosphere he 
breathed, the ideals for which he stood and the 
cultural synthesis which he and his great associates 
brought about. The veil of seclusion that had 
concealed India from the gaze of the outside world 
was no longer there, she was no longer dead to 
the play of forces that were working in the con- 
temporary world. A mere narration of events of 
the age of the Emperor Akbar is not a satisfactory 
approach to the history of that important epoch 
of the Indians. Without a study of the cultural 
and intellectual activities of the Ibadat Khana 


the first parliament of the religions of the world it 
is impossible to understand the forces and ideals for 
which India had been working for centuries. Indian 
civilisation has a wonderful capacity of assimilating 
extraneous currents and transmitting her own to 
others. The Din-i-Ilahi of Emperor Akbar clearly 
demonstrated how the Central Asian forces, winding 
their course through the Semitism of Arabia and 
filtering through the Monism of Iran, were ultimately 
Aryanised by the touch of Hindustan. The con- 
tribution of the different cultures, as represented 
in that great Hall of Worship, to the transformation 
and Indianisation of Islam was immense, though 
the process had already begun. Maintaining the 
basis of real Islam, the great savants of the age 
metamorphosed and crystallised the spirit of the 
age into a Sufi order, called the " Din-i-Ilahi." 
Indeed, without the study of the Din-i-Ilahi, the 
history of the 16th-century India is incomplete. 
In this book I have attempted to offer an inter- 
pretation of the movement of forces that worked 
in India throughout this period and to estimate 
the contribution of Akbar to the new synthesis 
which characterised this very important epoch of 
Indian history. 

Before 1 conclude, I must acknowledge my thanks 
to Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerjee, M.A., B.L., D.Lin. , 
Barrister-at-Law, M.L.A., Ex-Vice-Chancellor of 
the Calcutta University, for the encouragement I 
received from him, and to Dr. S. N. Sen, M,A. t 


P.R.S., Ph.D. (Cal.), B.Litt. (Oxon.), Keeper of 
Imperial Records, New Delhi, for the help he gave 
me. Prof. N. C. Banerjee, M. A., Ph.D., of Calcutta 
University, obliged me by ungrudingly suggesting 
some interesting interpretations of old facts. Prof. 
Priyaranjan Sen, M.A., P.R.S., Kavyatirtha, has 
placed me under a deep debt of gratitude by going 
through the MSS. Dr. R. P. Tripathi, M.A., D.Sc. 
(Lond.) of Allahabad was kind enough to discuss my 
interpretations and suggest new lights. My thanks 
are offered to them. Maulana M. E. Zakaria, 
formerly editor of Mornin Gazette of Cawnpore, 
also deserves my gratefulness for interpreting the 
theological abstractions of Islam from the orthodox 

Finally, I must thank Mr. D. B. Gangulee, 
Superintendent, Calcutta University Press, and his 
staff and especially Mr. J. Roy for the valuable 
help which I received from them in the course of 
the printing of the book. 


M. L. R.-C. 
The 7th March, 1941. ) 


In the absence of any original work on the 
DlN-I-lLAHI, writers of the 19ih century interpreted 
the religion of Akbar according to theories current in 
the period. Western writers of the History of the 
East tended to bring everything Eastern into line 
with Western notions. Western political principles 
were accepted to be ideals of government. One 
point of similarity with the West in the life and 
manners of an Eastern Sovereign was supposed to 
be a feather in the cap of his greatness. Western 
political principles like " a state has no connec- 
tion with religion," "statecraft is a purely secular 
affair," " the conception of a nation presupposes 
religious unity," and so forth, had become stand- 
ards of thought among historians. They too readily 
concluded influences and borrowings from the West 
in all such cases of similarity. In the absence of 
any treatise on Akbar's religion, historians gave full 
play to their fancies. Some found Akbar's religion 
"to be the outcome of a political necessity, the 
need of a universal religion in which Hindoos and 
Muslims could join." According to them Akbar, 
like Elizabeth of England and Henry IV of 
France, " was actuated by the motive of a compro- 
mise." A few asserted that " Akbar became the 
supreme head of the Church because he wanted to 
D 1280B 


keep the warring factions at peace." Others 
judged Akbar from an entirely secular point, 
viewing his ordinances as very personal. They 
said that " Akbar had a fondness for flattery, a 
weakness for adoration." One suggested that Akbar 
" founded a new religion in order that he might 
pose himself as God or at least the vicegerent of 
God." 1 Another remarked, " Akbar allowed pro- 
stration before himself because he liked to be treated 
as God on Earth." Remarks like these have been 
made and swallowed by unsuspecting readers as 
truths of history. They are generally astounding and 
pleasing and also easy to remember, being clad in 
familiar Western words. Few people take pains to 
enter into the sources of these remarks and fewer still 
have opportunity of seeing things through by 
examining the originals in a true spirit of inquiry. 
Even Dr. Smith, the author of " Akbar the Great 
Mogul," did not hesitate to say, "The whole 
scheme was the outcome of a ridiculous vanity, a 
monstrous growth of unrestrained autocracy. . . . 
The new faith was but a testimony to his grasping 
ambition, his pompous desire to be the Emperor, 
Pope and Prophet rolled into one. ... It was the 
love of power that induced Akbar to deny the 
authority of the Prophet and start a new religion." 

In Ain No. 77 Abul Fazl promised to write 
separately on Akbar as "a Spiritual Guide 

1 This is due to a misreading of Mul la Sheri's verse, which was 
a sarcasm quoted by Badauni. 


to the people," but sudden murder did not 
permit him to fulfil his pious intentions. 
The subject has been treated by Badauni in his 
" Muntakhabu-t Twarikh." He has discussed the 
regulations of Akbar purely from the point of view 
of a Mulla. The " Dabistan-i-Mazahib,'' a work 
written about 60 years after Akbar 's death, has 
discussed the principles of the religious views of 
the Emperor. Modern European writers have 
mostly based their conclusions on the testimonies of 
a hostile association in the court of the Emperor and 
of the Jesuits then in India. Badauni specially is 
the basis of Dr. Smith's conclusions, and what 
are Badauni 's credentials ? 

Abdul Qadir Badauni entered the court along 
with Abu 1 Fazl in 1572 and was put into office 
with Abul Fazl. Badauni lamented that the " time- 
serving ' ' and ' ' flattering * ' Abul Fazl gradually rose 
higher and higher in the court while "his own 
star" remained in a "static position." 2 Indeed 
it was really tormenting for Badauni to see his 
colleague and class-mate go so high up while he 
remained an ordinary courtier and " leader 
of Wednesday piayers," 3 more than once for his 

2 See J.R.A.S., 1869, Blochmann's article on Badauni. Badauni 
seems to have been no less time-serving. Though he criticised Sijdah, 
he himself made Zaminbos (Sijdah) three limes. 

3 Abul Fazl and Badauni read together under Shaikh Mubarak. Both 
were good students and were well-read. Badauni grew jealous of Abul 
Fazl's rise, and his personal grudge and jealousy were vented in his 
discussions round the religious views of Akbar, Abul Fazl and Faizi. 


incapacity and for overstaying leave he was driven 
out of office, only to be reinstated on the recom- 
mendations of Faizi. Badauni was so charitable 
and grateful that he never used a word in favour 
of his benefactor, Faizi ! * Badauni thus describes 
the death-bed scene of Faizi, " The Emperor went 
to visit him when he was on his last gasp; Faizi 
barked like a dog *'n his face, his face was swollen 
and his lips had become black. ..." Then he 
composed a monogram on the death of the 
famous poet : 

' ' A dog has gone from the world in an abomin- 
able state/' () 

And yet another : 

" Faizi the inauspicious, the enemy of 

the Prophet, 

Went bearing on him the brand of curses, 
He was a miserable and hellish dog, and hence 
The words * what dog-worshipper had died ' 
give the date of his birth.*' 7 

Hatred of Badauni for Faizi was so violent 
that he could not even condescend to praise the 
poems of Faizi. Badauni remarks, " His (Faizi 's) 
taste is lewd, raving in boastful verses and infidel 

* Badauni, Muntakhbu-t TwarikH, II, Lowe, p. 420. 

5 Ibid, p. 420. 

1003 A.H. (one year short). 

7 1004 A.H. 


scribblings. He was entirely devoid of love of 
truth, of the knowledge of God." But Faizi was 
made the Poet-Laureaute by the Emperor and had 
composed about 20,000 couplets. His command 
over rhetoric, we know, has not yet been surpassed, 
and, as a poet, Faizi is a class by himself. Still, in 
his hatred for Faizi, Badauni says, " He (Faizi) wrote 
poetry for a period of 40 years, but it was all 
imperfect. He could set up the skeleton of verses 
well but the bones had no marrow in them, and the 
salt of his poetry was entirely without savour." 
Badauni does not find " even one couplet amongst 
them that is not as much without fire as his 
withered genius, and they are despised and rejected 
to such an extent that no one, even in lewdness, 
studies his verse as they do those of the other base 

Badauni could not tolerate even the slightest 
difference of opinion. He seldom alludes to Birbal 
as other than a " hellish dog." Muhammad of 
Basakwan, a learned man of Timur's time, is called 
" hyprocrite and filthy " because he had written 
* ' Titul " " science of the expressed and implied 

Badauni deplores his own fate because he had 
to translate the Ramayana into Persian, for in course 
of translation he had to write the names of Hindu 
Gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. 

At Lahore a Shia was killed by a Sunni, for 
" the former had spoken disrespectfully of the 


first four Khalifas." Baclauni had no words of pity 
for the murdered man, who, he wrote, " has the 
face like that of a pig," but " the Sunni murderer 
was a hero." When his own son died, he attri- 
buted the untimely death to his not reading the 
Quran at his birth. 

So far as religion was concerned, Badauni was 
essentially the type of a Sunni who does not only 
hate a non-believer but who cannot even stand the 
sight of one who would not believe in things which 
he had faith in. In his blind fanaticism he ceased 
to be a historian while he dealt with the religious 
views of Akbar. He distorted and suppressed facts 
to suit his own conclusions. He quoted only por- 
tions of the regulations of Akbar, because quotations 
of them in toto would defeat his purpose. For 
example : along with the killing of cows, Akbar 
prohibited the killing of camels, horses, dogs and 
other domestic animals. But Badauni quoted only 
apart of the Ain, 0/z., that regarding the killing 
of cows, and so proved Akbar to be anti-Islam 
because cow is sacred to the Hindus. 8 " From* 
such a man like Badauni can we expect that 
Akbar 's deviations from religious orthodoxy would 
find no favour," and "we have to discount his 
stories concerning the same as being certainly exag- 
gerated." Even Khafi Khan is of opinion that 

8 Similar references will be quoted when we discuss the " Aint " 
(regulations} of Akbar. See post, pp. 226-68. 

* Pringle Kennedy, History of the Mongols, Vol. I, pp. 285-86. 


Badauni ought not to have said and written of 
Akbar as he had done. 30 Akbar was a king who 
would not only reign but would also rule. He 
would, unlike others before him, not willingly be a 
tool in the hands of a Mulla theocracy. In course 
of his administration he found that the Mullas and 
the Qazis had interfered too much with affairs of 
state, often with corrupt motives and pernicious 
results. He turned many Qazis out of their 
offices for bribery ; many were deprived of their 
" Aymas." n Some Qazis were angry that 
Brahmins had been engaged in deciding disputes 
in which Hindus were concerned as accused or in 
which both the parties were Hindus ; also because 
the . highest court of appeal was no longer the 
Sadr-us-Sadur or Makhdum-ul-Mulk but the 
Emperor himsef . 

Christians who came to the court of Akbar were 
mostly Jesuit priests. They were by no means 
historians, and the despatches, reports and letters 
which they sent to their masters at home or at the 
eastern central station at Goa, were mostly reli- 
gious in nature. References to contemporary 
events are certainly to be found in them but they 
are to be judged very critically before they car 
be accepted as materials of history. Their 

W Seir-al Mutakharin, Vol. I, p. 196. 

11 For religious endowments, see Badauni, of>. ci'r., Vol. II, 
Lowe, p. 207. Some Qazis were exchanged for horses at Qandahar 
after the Bengal rebellion for political reasons, 


despatches mostly dealt with religious matters and 
v/ere often coloured by their own religious predi- 
lections, so deep rooted in the Christians of 
the 16th century. Their perspective was never 
historical they wrote whatever came in their way, 
without taking caie to verify them. 

When Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut, he 
thought he saw Christian churches there ; in- them he 
heard Christian bells, recognised Christian shepherds 
known as Kafir, and noticed a Nayar who wore 
top-knot to show that he belonged to Christianity ! 12 
Vasco da Gama's statement was accepted as true 
for 200 years. Then it was found out that 
the Churches referred to, were nothing but 
domes of the Hindu temples of Siva, which 
appeared to be like the churches of the 
Portuguese; the bells referred to were those rung 
by Hindus at the time of their evening prayers ; 
and the priests mentioned were none other than the 
Brahmin priests of the Temple. Such is some- 
times the standard of accuracy of the Portuguese 
travellers or missionaries who visited the country 
in the early days of Christian advent ! Dr. Smith 
has often emphasised the versions of the Western 
writers without caring to judge them in the light 
of unbiassed criticism. Take, for example, the 
story of the fall of Asirgarh. 

Asirgarh fell, according to Abul Fazl, owing to 

12 Payne, Scenes and Characteis from Indian History, pp. 90-92. 


the pestilence which carried away 25,000 men from 
the fort and owing to the " devices ** of Akbar; 
but according to "Relacam " of Guerreiro, whose 
account was the source for Du Jarric, the fort fell on 
account of the treachery of the Emperor. Accord- 
ing to Dr. Smith, the account of Father Xavier is 
literally true and " deserving of acceptance as 
being the most authentic history of the events 
which led to the capitulation of Asirgarh." 
Smith's " Akbar the Great Mogul,' 1 p. 276.) 
The learned historian denounced the Indian 
versions as deliberate forgeries and systematic 
distortions of facts. The account of the Jesuit 
Father does not exist in the original. The version 
of* Du Jarric is based on Relacam is a word- 
for-word translation of what is given in Relacam. 
Smith claims that he subjected Du Jarric's 
account to a critical examination and states that 
Du Jarric had summarised the letters of Xavier. 
Dr. Smith says that the " Histoire " of Du Jarric 
contains a detailed account of the siege. He 
also asserts that Guerreiro in his Relacam gives 
no details and confirms Du Jarric's statement that 
the capitulation was obtained by treachery. But as 
a matter of fact, Guerreiro gives a detailed account 
of the siege and not Du Jarric whose account ie 
rather ' ' a word-for-word translation of that given 
in Relacam." It is strange that Dr. Smith makes 
references to and gives quotations from Relacam, 
Part 1 , the actual volume where the account pf the 


siege occurs; but he has not compared Du Jarric's 
version with Guerreiro's and found out the truth,. 
Possibly Dr. Smith was very imperfectly acquainted 
with these two works. 

Payne says that the Portuguese were often 
wrongly informed or even hoaxed, and we are 
compelled to share his views in the light of facts. 
What were Dr. Smith's conclusions about the 
siege of AsirgarhP He says that Father Xayier 
was present at the siege and hence his version 
cannot be untrue. But our reading of the facts 
proves that Father Xavier was not present at the 
siege of Asirgarh. Had Father Xavier been really 
present there, he would surely have mentioned the 
great famine which had caused so much havoc 
Amongst the defenders of the fort which we get . 
from all contemporary authors, namely, Faizi Sar- 
hindi, Abul Fazl and the author of Zafar-ul-Walih 
(Arabic history of Gujrat). Again, the account of 
the murder of Muqarib Khan by Akbar during the 
siege, as given by the Jesuit, is against all evidence. 
We know it for certain, from direct evidences of 
Faizi Sarhindi and of Zafar-ul-Walih, that the death 
of Muqarib was a case of suicide. But Xavier says 
that Muqarib was killed by Akbar. Further, the 
very name of Bahadur Khan, the king of Khandesh, 
against whom the war was going on, has been 
wrongly put by the Jesuit Father. It, therefore, 
becomes difficult to believe that the Portuguese 
writer was present at the siege. 


Dr. Smith rejects the account of Abul Fazl as 
entirely baseless and deliberate falsification, on the 
ground that he has not mentioned the treachery of 
Akbar in connection with the fall of Asirgarh. 18 
We are sorry to say that Dr. Smith has not gone 
carefully through Abul Fazl's version in Akbar- 
nama. In Volume III, Akbarnama definitely men- 
tions the deceptions and simulations practised 
by Akbar to procure the capitulation of the fort ; 
so where is the attempt of Abul Fazl to hide it? 
We would say with Rev. Payne that "Dr. Smith's 
references are equally misleading and inaccurate 
and his investigation is of a perfunctory nature." u 

Regarding the honesty of Abul Fazl's account 
let us quote the remark of Price in his Preface to 
Elliot's Volume VI. lc Price observes, " His (Abul 
Fazl's) veneration for the Emperor amounted 
almost to adoration. Apart from occasional 
blemishes, his faults are those of the rhetorician 
rather than of the flatterer, and his style ought 
to be judged by an oriental standard, not by a 
contrast with the choicest of European memoirs." 
Blochmann says, " Abul Fazl has far too often been 
accused by European writers of flattery, and even 
of wilful concealment of facts damaging to the 
reputation of his master. A study of the Akbar- 

Smith, op. cit., p. 284. 

14 Payne, Intro., op. eft., p. xxxv. 

U Elliot and Dowton, Vol. VI, pp. 7-8, 


nama will show that the charge is absolutely 
unfounded/' (J.R.A.S., 1869, article on Badauni 
by Blochnann.) 

Dr. Smith has taken the Jesuit accounts regard- 
ing Akbar's religion as gospel truth, because 
Badauni 's versions tally with theirs on many points. 
But we must say that both were actuated by similar 
motives, and often Badauni and the Mulla party 
supplied information for the Jesuit writers. The 
Jesuit priests came to India with the motive of 
converting the "Mogors," 10 and there have been 
similar attempts by Christian priests for converting 
the "Mogors of Central Asia." At first, when 
Akbar's invitation reached the Jesuits, they thought 
that the Emperor's motives were political 17 ; and so 
it was only after a good deal of hesitancy that the 
highest Jesuit priest decided to send a Mission. 

To start with, they were all praise for Akbar. 
The encomiums used by the members of the first 
Mission are often so flattering that they seem to 
have been written by hired eulogists. On reaching 
Agra the Fathers began to collect information 
about the Emperor, and in their credulity they 
eagerly swallowed all they heard about him. It 
was certainly a revolution from the point of view of 

M Pringle Kennedy, op. cir., VoL'.I, Chap, I. 

17 De Sousa, Oriente Conquistado, Vol. II, p. 150. There was a 
suspicion in the mind of the Governor of Goa that Akbar might keep 
the Fathers as hostages. Moreland is of opinion that Akbar would have 
ailed the Jesuits even if all political motive* we*e absent. 


the Mullas and the orthodox party that Akbar, 
a iMuslim Emperor, should go beyond the usual 
Sunni interpretations and consult non-Mulsims for 
his 'knowledge.' Hence, they began to manu- 
facture and circulate all sorts of ' news and views ' 
regarding the Emperor. The Fathers simply 
despatched those calumnious bits of information to 
their headquarters in India and Europe. As the 
Emperor began to enquire more and more about 
Truth, and as they found their chances of converting 
the Emperor growing remote every day, they also 
began to grow cold. Again, when they found the 
Emperor giving them audience and permitting them 
to make conversions and build churches, they grew 
elated ; at once followed despatches narrating all the 
stories of the Emperor's apostasy with all the 
prospects of conversion. The Fathers wrote that 
all the mosques at Lahore had been ordered to 
be demolished and that the study of the Quran 
had been suspended in the Empire. Du Jarric 
avows that " Akbar promised to become a 
Christian even at the cost of his kingdom in case the 
Fathers would explain to him the Trinity and 
incarnation." 18 The Portuguese and the Jesuits are 
often so inconsistent amongst themselves that if we 

11 Similar passages occur in almost all Jesuit narratives. Maclagan 
ays, " Akbar would have become Christian but for his wives, for if he 
became Christian he would have to forsake his wives all except one." 
Du Jarric says, " Akbar actually distributed all hi* wives amongst hit 
courtiers and kept only one," 


compare them (specially regarding the story of 
Akbar 's death), it becomes palpable that the Fathers 
had first-hand knowledge in very few things. 10 

Even the ordinary state regulations of Akbar 
have been condemned and interpreted by the 
Mullas with distrust and suspicion. Badauni was 
very angry with Akbar because he had opened 
' ' Dharampura ' ' and " Yogipura " for "non- 
believers." Social and political regulations have 
been interpreted and interdicted from a religious 
point of view. A charge against Akbar is that he 
stopped pilgrimage to Mecca. But we know it 
definitely, from the testimony of the third Mission, 
that, even in the last years of his life, he sent 
members of his family to Mecca on pilgrimage. 
During the period of the so-called transition (1 572-82) 
he had given every intending pilgrim a sum of Rs. 
600 as passage money. A regular department, 
known as the Haji Department, had been started 
and was placed under an officer, Mir-i-Haj. This 
department had one hundred ships (Jahaz-i-llahi) 
reserved for the pilgrims. There are evidences that 
Akbar used to send clothes and presents to Mecca 
as a part of religious duty, and that he was contem- 
plating the foundation of a pilgrim house at Mecca. 
During the discussions of the Ibadat Khana, it wa 

1* French traveller Laval says, " Akbar promised to become a 
Christian and gave hopes that he would become a Christian, should he 
be permitted all his wives, as his religion allowed, and pending the 
solution of tlie question, he died" 


found that the Mir-i-Haj and Sadr, who were the 
guardians of the Pilgrim Fund, had embezzled 
money. Mirza Azam Khan, 20 a staunch Musalman, 
returned from Mecca with a great disgust for the 
Sharif s of Mecca for their corrupt practices. Condi- 
tions in the Holy Land were in no sense better 
than those in India. Owing to Portuguese piracy, 
journey to Mecca by sea was no longer safe. 
Tickets issued by Christian shipowners bore the pic- 
ture of Mary on their back. The orthodox could 
not condescend to accept a ticket with a picture, 
for it would be countenancing idolatry. The 
route by land was controlled by the Qazibillis 
(Shias of Persia) and the life of a Sunni was 

never, safe in the land of the Shias. Akbar for 
some time discouraged pilgrimage to Mecca from 

the point of view of state policy. Even a staunch 
Musalman like Sekandar Lodi had stopped Haj 
for women and regulated pilgrimage. 21 Akbar 
made regulations for the pilgrims and not against 
the institution of pilgrimage. 

* There were some other regulations to which 
exception may be taken from a religious point of 
view. The customary words at the top of a book 
" Bhmillah-ir-Rahman-ir Rahim" were changed 
into * ' A llah-o-A kbar. ' ' The Mullas suggested that 
the new words were a sly substitution of the 

'<> Bad., Lowe, Vol. H, p. 412; Bloehmann, A in, p. 32*. 
* Taiikhi Dawdi, E. & D. f Vol. IV. pp. 445-46. 


personal name of Akbar for that of God. 22 Badauni 
rebuked Abul Fazl for this innovation and inter- 
dicted him as an apostate. 23 But we find Faizi 
beginning his famous book ' * Naldaman ' ' with the 
customary " Bismillah, etc." It was no innovation 
in Islam to begin books without "Bismillah, etc." 
This epithet " Bismillah, etc.," is an imitation 
of the Persian Zoroastrian phrase ' * Banam-i~ 
Bakshainda-i-Bafyhshaishgar-i-Meherban.' >24 (In the 
name of God the charitable and the merciful.) 
It has not been everywhere in use. " Ka/uih," 
an Arabic Grammar by Ibn-i-Hajib, does not 
contain the customary words in praise of God. In 
Sharah-i-Jami and Tahrir-i-Sambat, commentaries 
on that book, absence of the customary words in 
praise of God have been discussed and Ibft-i- 
Hajib has been supported. There are many 
books which begin with " Alhamdu-lillah " 
instead of " Bismilla, etc." Even some orthodox 
Muslims do not write the long customary 
sentence but simply put the name of God, through 
the numerals 786, on their books. Akbar was 
quite a good Musalman but the sad fact is that he 
had, on account of his state regulations, displeased 
the orthodox theocracy. 

The 1 6th century was a century of upheavals : no 
civilised country escaped the wave of Renaissance, 

11 Badauni, op. cit., Lowe, Vol. II, pp, 212, 267. 

" Ibid., p. 210. 

14 Jamshedji Lumji Api, Jartash-nama, Preface. 


and forces were working from different directions 
and at different angles. The life and actions of 
Akbar cannot be explained by themselves without 
their context. The forces that had been working 
in him, were not Indian only. The psychology of 
Akbar was a complex phenomenon ; unlike, Asok 
he was an emperor first and a priest next. 

In the first chapter, we have described the setting 
of the Indian stage on which Akbar appeared. 
The time was propitious, and the ground had been 
prepared by the Hindu Saints and Muslim Sufis. 
A spirit of eclecticism and fusion was on the anvil. 
Forces were at work which would have moulded 
the life of Akbar even without many of the 
polititical events. 

In the second chapter, the hereditary traits (of 
Chengiz and Timur and of their families) have been 
depicted. Inspite of all the liberal tendencies of 
the age, Akbar could not be absolutely free from 
the Central Asian influences. Many of the social 
regulations of Akbar can be explained by a refer- 
ence to the manners and customs of his ancestors. 

The third chapter shows that Akbar was by 
birth a mystic, by heredity a lover of knowledge, 
by experiences of early life impressionable and 
by court influences a Sunni. Here we notice the 
extremely devout bent of Akbar 's temperament. 
The foundation of the Ibadat Khana was a testimony 
to his reverence and faith in God and Islam and 
it was not the fruit of his scepticism and apostasy. 
F 1280B 


The fourth chapter deals with the discussions 
in the Ibadat Khana. Akbar was amazed at the 
variety of interpretations of the Texts. The Ibadat 
Khana, which, to start with, was a hall of 
worship for the Sunnis, was thrown open to 
other sections of Islam, and, ultimately, also to 
non-Muslims. The Ibadat Khana became a real 
parliament of religions. On the other hand, Akbar 
was disgusted by the discovery of the dishonesty 
of the Qazi department in the distribution of 
lands, of the Sadr in the grant of religious endow- 
ments, and of the Mir-i-Haj in the administration of 
pilgrim grants. Akbar had to issue many regula- 
tions for reasons of state, which the Mullas inter- 
preted from the religious point of view. 

In Appendix A to this chapter the extra- Indian 
forces, especially of Bagdad and Teharan, leading 
to the acceptance of Mahzar, have been examined. 

In Appendix B to this chapter, three paintings 
have also been examined. They illustrate the 
religious practices of Akbar and of some courtiers 
and their environments. 

The fifth chapter finds that the ever-expanding 
soul of Akbar could no longer be satisfied by 
the Mulla interpretations of the laws of God. The 
Ibadat Khana was thrown open to non-Muslims 
also Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Zoroastrians, 
Jew and Christians. Here we have estimated the 
influences of the different forces at work and their 


respective contributions to the psychological changes 
in Akbar. 

In the sixth chapter, a classified summary of 
the Ains regulations have been given, though, 
strictly speaking, the life of a Musalman follows no 
such classification : to the orthodox there is nothing 
purely religious and nothing purely secular. We 
have discussed the different backgrounds of these 
regulations ; it has been shown that Akbar hardly 
ever did anything which was not allowed by i the 
Quran or the Hadis or by some of his predecessors. 

In an Appendix to this chapter the life of 
Badauni and his Mulla standpoint have been elabo- 
rately discussed, with a view to depicting the spirit 
and angularity of the contemporary theocratic mind. 

In the seventh chapter the Din-i-Uahi has been 
discussed. The principles from the Persian texts 
have been given. The ceremonies, initiations and 
symbols connected with the religion have been 

In the last chapter the Din-i~Hahi in practice 
has been described. We have stated the reasons 
for its non-acceptance by all and sundry and the 
non-missionary character of the religion. Akbar 
did not want that this Sufi cult should be accepted 
by each and every one. Incidentally we have tried 
to show that Akbar never renounced Islam and that 
he was a Mussalman all through his life. An 
estimate of Akbar in relation to the Din-i-Ilahi 
has been given. 


Certainly instances are not wanting when 
Muslim monarchs have been guilty of crimes in the 
name of religion in spite of Commandments to the 
contrary. Timur has been credited with having 
killed 6,000,000 human beings, only " to change 
his land of the infidels into that of the 
believers " (Darul Harb into Darul Islam). After 
the victory at Ajmer, he was greeted with a turret 
of welcome built of 70,000 heads of the slaughter- 
ed and they were not unbelievers. One hundred 
thousand men were butchered at Sirusthi (Srabas- 
thi) and all in the name of Islam. 1 Sultan Bayezid 
would kill at least two Christians every day to 
celebrate his meals 2 : the dying shrieks of the 
victims would be the music to his dinner. Sekan- 
dar Lodi slaughtered 15,000 Hindus in one day 
to prove his love for Islam. He stopped the bath- 
ing of the Hindu pilgrims in the Jamuna at 
Allahabad and forbade the barbers from shaving 
heads of pilgrims." Hundreds of similar instances 

1 In regard to these facts, we are indebted to Historians who, out of 
fanaticism, added to the list of crimes of their heroes. In their eyes, the 
larger number of victims, attributed to the religious zeal of their heroes, 
made them greater still in the eyes of the Muslim world. 

2 Lane-Poole (Turkey. Story of Nations series\ pp. 46-73. 

3 Titus, Indian Islam, pp. 11-12, 


could be given to prove the spirit of intolerance, 
and bigotry, in the believers. In fact there are 

A/A/.jAx / AxA/A^^A / 

passages in the Quran j**j-*jU-SLS L^^ ^j&jXjJ|j 

("And kill them wherever you find them"), 4 
which has been construed as " giving permission 
to kill." 

In spite of these commands supposed to justify 
the slaughter of infidels which were given purely 
from secular points of view, we find revelations in 
the Quran which breathe an atmosphere of tolera- 
tion to the non-believers and of a compromise with 
them. " He professed his good- will to the Chris- 
tians, as an inclinable to entertain friendship for the 
true believers." He exhorted his followers " not 
to dispute, but in the mildest manner," 
against those " who have received the Scriptures, 
and ushered to come to a just determination 
between both parties, that they all worshipped not 
any but God." " Ibrahim was neither a Jew 
nor a Christian but one resigned unto God 

4 Chap. II, Verse 191. 

There has been much comment on this verse. The adverse critics 
of Islam have opined that, in this verse, the Quran has given ' permission 
to kill.* But this v'erse must he read along with the previous one. The 
pionoun " them " has its noun in the verse preceding, which has 
permitted the believers to" war with those who fight with you*' 
^believers). V. 190. Southern*' refers to those who fight with the 
Muslims. Thus in Verse 191, the Quran permitted the killing of those 
who were fighting with the believers. It is an occasional commandment, 
not a general command. Even in this permission, we read a note of 
toleration, for the Quran says, " Do not exceed the limits ; surely Allah 
does not like those who exceed the limits." Verse 190, Chap. II. 


(Muslim) " ; " excellence is in the hand of God ; 
He gives it unto whom He pleases." Muhammad 
further permitted the professors of every religion 
certain rights " about which He prohibits all 
disputes." The document enunciated after the 
battle of Badr, which was meant for the Christians 
and Jews, is a wonderful testimony to the spirit 
with which the Prophet was animated . Lastly the 
Prophet says, " If the Lord had pleased, verily all 
who are on the earth, would have believed in 
general, wilt thou therefore, forcibly compel men to 
be true believers ? No soul can believe but by the per- 
mission of God." David Shea and Antony Troyer 
are constrained to admit that although ' ' followers 
too often gave by their conduct a strong denial to 
these principles, still the existence of them in the 
Quran was a sanction to all those who were dispos- 
ed to profess them in words and actions/' In the 
early history of the Muslim Khalifas, we find in- 
stances of tolerance of which any nation or religion 
might be proud. Omar ordered payment of 
compensation for damages done to the people of 
the country through which he passed during his 
Syrian expedition. Omar was so tolerant that 
he was willing to say his prayers in a Christian 
Church at Jerusalem. When Muhammad bin 
Qasim sent information of his exploits to his 
Khalifa that he had demolished temples, converted 
Hindus to Islam and successfully waged war 
against them, the Khalifa " reprimanded him, for it 


was against sanction and usage of the Holy Law 
and ordered Qasim to compensate the damages 
done by him." 5 The conduct of the Muslims in 
Spain when they dominated the Christians, is in 
contrast with the conduct of the Christians after 
their victory in the East. If that spirit were always 
translated into action, the history of Islam would 
have been written otherwise. 

When Islam stepped beyond the limits of 
Arabia, it came into contact with men of different 
outlooks on life, and the influence of this foreign 
contact silently worked themselves into Islam. If 
Arabia had conquered Persia physically, the victim 
conquered the victor intellectually. When Islam 
came into contact with the Turks and other nomad 
tribes of Central Asia, the Turki converts were 
amazed by the idea of the unity of God and the 
Islamic principle of universal brotherhood. They 
were lured by a prospect of a heaven in Islam, 
glorious with all its mundane joys. This could be 
secured by a war which would either make him 
a Shahid (a martyr to the cause of religion) or a 
Gazi (a killer of enemy), and heaven was both for 
a Shahid and a Gazi. For these blood-thirsty 
people, Islam offered two worlds power in this 
world and peace in the next. Consequently, in 
their hands, the true precepts of Islam underwent 
distortion, as was the case with Christianity in the 

5 Elphinstone, pp. 302-03. 


hands of the barbarian conquerors of Europe. 
The Turki converts changed Islam to suit their 
own instincts in their own way. A careful study 
of the early Turks and Afghans, who first invaded, 
conquered and ruled over Hindusthan, would 
prove the truth of our statement. Often these 
invaders had personal motives of conquest ; but 
when they found that a religious incentive would 
give a fresh urge, they took advantage of it and 
declared Jehad war in the name of religion. 

Thus, the historian Utbi G says of Mahmud of 
Gazni that he (Mahmud of Gazni) '* demolished 
idol temples and established Islam in them. He 
captured cities, killed the polluted wretches, des- 
troying the idolatrous and gratifying Muslims.'* 
He then returned home and " promulgated 

accounts of the victories obtained for Islam and 

vowed that every year he would undertake a holy 
war against Hind." This spirit of Muhammadan 
conquest is in sad contrast with that of the first 
Muslim administration of Sind under the orders of 
.the Khalifa. Hasan Nizami 7 says of Muhammad of 
Ghor, " he (Ghor) purged by his sword, the land of 
the Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and 
freed the whole of that country from the thorn of 
God-plurality and the impurity of idol-worship, and 
by his royal vigour and his intrepidity left not one 

6 Tilus, p. II. 

7 Tajul-Ma'athir, Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II, p. 217. 


temple standing." Iltutmish built the crest of the 
mosque Arhai-din-ka-Jhopra out of the ruins of 
the temples of Hindus and Jains. The inscription 
on the temple is a very interesting study regarding 
the motives of Iltutmish. 8 Alauddin, in spite of his 
anti-Mulla perorations, would not hesitate to des- 
troy temples, and he erected pulpits and arches of 
mosques in their place. 9 The peculiar mentality 
of the much praised Firoz Shah Tughluq, the 
flower of the Turko- Afghan period, was the type of 
attitude of the best O f the early Muslim conquerors. 
When Timur-Lang had come to India, the religious 
objective of the Muslim invaders had been 
condensed and formulated ; a specimen of this 
we read in the speeches of Timur on the eve of 
his Indian expedition, " My object in the invasion 
of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against 
the infidels that, according to the law of Muham- 
mad, we may convert to the true faith the people of 
that country, and purify the land itself from filth of 
infidelity and polytheism ; and that we may over- 
throw their temples and idols and become Gazis 
and Mujahids before God." 10 

Is he not that Timur who led all his expeditions 
against the believers except in Georgia and partly 
India ? Is he not that Timur who put 2,000 Shaikhs 
of Islam one upon the other to build a living 

8 Horovitz, Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, p. 30. 
Amir Khusrau, E. & D., Vol. Ill, pp. 89 and 543. 
10 Malfuzat-i-Timuri, E. & D., Vol. Ill, p. 397. 


human wall, plastered them alive with lime and 
sand ? Is he not that Timur who destroyed the 
accredited leader of Islam, we mean the Khalifa, 
and himself took the title of Khalifat-ul-lillah ? In 
the name of religion, they excited their soldiers and 
themselves. In the lands of the non-Muslims, 
Turks, Afghans, Pathans and Mughal invaders 
carried the message of death in the name of 
Muhammad and Islam, and left no stone unturned 
to convert the land of non-believers into a land 
of believers. 

But in spite of all possible attempts to convert 
the Hindus to Islam, Islam could not make much 
headway in India. The Hindus with their age- 
long culture and deep-rooted religious convictions 
would not easily change their faith. The old 
Brahmin n (Zunnar-Dar) at the time of Firoz Shah 
Tughluq and Bhudan at the time of Sekandar Lodi 
would willingly and gladly offer their lives rather 
than change their religion ; at places the lees of 
society changed their religion to avoid Jezia or to 
avoid persecution ; but mass conversions could not 
take place. The Hindu masses remained loyal to 
their ancient faith. The fundamental outlooks of 
the two faiths are so different that volunlaiy con- 
versions of the upper class Hindus were few and 
far between. Still, in course of time, the followers 
of the two faiths, by long association with each 

" Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi, E & D., Vol. HI. p. 365. 


other, by a community of interests in daily life, 
by a community of problems in politics, un- 
consciously approached each other. Even the 
most orthodox converts would not and could not 
give up the manners and customs which had 
been rooted into them for centuries. The 
Muslim conquest in India by Turko-Afghans was 
never thorough as it was in Persia by Arabs. 12 
The Turks, Afghans and Pathans, who attempted 
the earliest conversion in India, were satisfied with 
the lip-service of the converts the reading of 
Kalema and the change of name as in China. 
Further the Indian conversions were piecemeal 
and scarcely general. Thus one brother became 
a Muhammadan while the rest of the family con- 
tinued to be Hindus living in the same village a$d 
locality ; one had to borrow the manners and cus- 
toms of the other. At all stages of social psycho- 
logy, local instinct always plays an important part. 
In the Punjab specially, where the activity of the 
Turks was most prominent, the tribal and local 
bond has been always stronger than the religious 
bond. 73 So an approach to fusion was more pos- 
sible in the Punjab on the common ground of 
customs rather than on the ground of religious 

12 Arnold is of opinion that if India had been conquered by the 
Arabs instead of by the Turks, Afghans and Pathans, the preaching 
of Islam would have been different and with different results. 

13 See transactions of the Third International Congress for the 
History of Religions, Vol. I, p. 314. 


community. The mass of the Punjab Muslims 
in many places, worship local godlings such as 
Magti, and Lachi. The Mirasis of Amritsar give 
offerings to Durga Bhawani. Sitala, the goddess 
of pox, is worshipped by Pindi Musalmans. Even 
frontier Muhammadans pay respect to the goddess 
of pox. The Avars of N. W. Punjab and the 
Bhats of U. P. use Bramhins as their family 
priests. The Maimans of Kutch ascetics besmear 
their bodies with ashes like Hindu Brahmins. The 
Musalman ** Suttars " of the Punjab carry a 
" danda " (staff) and keep singing. The Sadique 
Nihang (in Jhang district, the Punjab) Muslim Faqirs 
keep going a fire called " dhuni." n In U. P. Chuni- 
hars worship * ' Kalka Mai ' ' and observe the Sradh 
ceremony in imitation of the Hindus. Lakshmi Devi 
is worshipped by the Turknowasof Eastern Bengal. 
Songs of Lakshmi are still sung by Muslim Faqirs 
in Western Bengal villages. According to some, 
the Mushkil-asan cult of Bengal is a relic of the fire- 
worship of the Hindus. The " Dude-Kulas " of 
Madras worship tools in the Dashera holidays as 
do the Hindus in the Biswa Karma Festival. The 
' Sada-Sohag * sect (founded in the 1 5th century) 
wear women's dress like the devotees of Bechna 
Devi near Ahmadabad. 15 

14 Punjab Customary Laws ; Islam in Kashmere, by Ramcharan 
Kak, in the Journal of Indian History, 1928. 

J 5 " Madhya Juge Bharater Sadhana " (Bengali), by K. M Sen, 



Panch Pir and Pir Badr are still worshipped 
by the boatmen of Hindu and Musalman sects in 
Bengal ; Satya Narayan Pir is a combination of 
Hindu god Narayan and Muslim Satya Pir. The 
Baul cult is an extreme form of Hindu-Muslim 
sublimation. The Holi, Dewali, Dashera, Basanta- 
Panchami and Baisakhi festivals are attended both 
by Hindus and Musalmans together. Same is the 
case with the Muhurrum. In Kashmir, the Muslims 
still worship the tutelary godlings of their villages, 
join Hindu festivals and employ Brahmins at their 
marriage ceremonies. The Malkana Rajputs, 
though converts to Islam, are reluctant to describe 
themselves as Musalmans. Their names are 
Hindu. They use " Ram, Ram " in their saluta- 
tions and greetings ; they mostly worship in Hindu 
temples, though, at times, they frequent mosques 
and practise circumcision and bury their dead. 
The Matia Kunbis, who were converted to 
Muhammadanism by Islam Shah Pirana in the 1 5th 
century, employ Brahmin priests and refuse to eat 
with their Muhammadan brethren. The Rasul 
Shahis of the Punjab drink wine and claim to con- 
trol superhuman deeds by means of "Tantia " an 

In the process of this fusion, the effortless 
attempts of the saints and faqirs, Hindu and 
Muhammadan, had done much more than the 
thousand and one swords of the Islamic conquerors. 
For, the appeal was to a subtler and softer side 


of man, where the ordinary calculations of loss and 
gain could not weigh much. The Dargha (Muslim 
pulpits) became a resort of both Hindus and Mus- 
lims (1072 A.D.). When Mukhdum Sayid Ali 
(al Hadjwari) found his resort at Lahore and laid 
down his mortal remains there, 1<J his grave imme- 
diately became a place of pilgrimage for both 
Hindus and Muhammadans^ Even to-day, the 
Bhathi Darwaza of Lahore is a haunt for the Hindu 
Muslim saints. 17 The Chishti-cult brought by the 
illustrious saint Mainuddin Chishti to India, is a 
landmark in the history of Indo-Muslim religious 
thoughts. He chose a place near the Hindu 
pilgrimage of Pushkar at Ajmer. His name and 
reputation spread far and wide and his lustre fell 
upon India like the rays of the sun and he is called 
Aftab-i-mulk-i-Hind, " the sun of the land of 
Hindusthan." The Hindus were so much influ- 
enced by the Chishti-cult that we find round about 
Ajmer a sect called the Husaini Brahmins, who 
combine the Muslim religion with Hindu manners 
and customs and rituals. They claim to be 
Brahmins and declare the Atharva Veda to be their 
sacred book but at the same time they observe the 
fast of Ramjan as much as they observe Sivaratri. 18 

16 For a list of the Muslim Saints and Suns in India, see Akhbar- 
ul-Akhiar, by Abdul Haqq (1572 A. D.). 

37 Ganj Bakhsh's contribution to this fusion in the Punjab is 

18 A very sacred fast of the Hindus in honour of their god 
Shiva "* 


They beg alms in the name of Hasan, grandson of 
the Prophet ; they bury the dead ; practise circum- 
cision; their males wear Muslim dress and use 
" Tilak " 19 on their forehead, but the females dress 
like Hindu ladies and use vermilion on their fore- 
head. They style themselves as "Mian Thakur." 
Just opposite to this, we find Karim Shah becoming 
a disciple of a Vaishnava saint and repeating Hindu 
"Om. ' 20 TheKakas of Gujrat (15th century) 
have been so much Hinduised that they still retain 
their Hindu names and follow all Hindu customs 
though their preceptors are faqirs. Malik Muham- 
mad Jaisi (1540 A.D.) composed a very beautiful 
allegorical lyric called " Padmavat " on the 
relation between " atma " and " paramatma." 
Alwal composed a " Mahabharat " and sang the 
praise of Siva. 21 Mirza Hasan AH produced hymns 
in honour of the goddess Kali ; Kulliyat-i-nazir is a 
treatise on the greatness of "Sri Krishna." The 
Batyana sect made a considerable approach to 
Hindu Yoga and Tantra; they began to write books 
on "Yoga/' " Asan," " Deha-Tatwa," " Shat- 
Chakra." 22 In the Punjab, these books are still 
found in many of the old families. 23 

19 Sacred marks of sandal or vermilion, a custom of orthodox 

20 The symbol of the highest Trinity of Hinduism. 

21 History of Bengali Language, p. 793; Hindu Gods in Muslim 
Poetry, by Dinesh Chandra Sen, p. 25. 

22 K M Sen, " Madhya Juge Bharater Sadhana." 

23 Ibid., pp. 21-25. 


The great Chaitanya of Bengal (1484 A.D.^ 
allowed both Hindus and Muhammadans to 
become his disciples. Yavan Haridas was one of 
his most important disciples. Rup and Sanatan, 
two of his important disciples, were so very tolerant 
to Muslim converts to Vaisnavism that the orthodox 
Vaisnavas and Hindus refused to have any social 
intercourse with them. 

Ramanand, the great saint, ranks a Muhammadan 
weaver, Kabir, as his first disciple. He protested 
against caste and put faith in love of God above 
caste and rituals of religion. To him, " there is no 
question of caste and rank before God. He, who 1 
devotes himself to God, is God." Kabir was 
the personification of the process of Hindu-Muslim 
fusion in mediaeval India. He attacked the ortho- 
dox Hindu institutions like ' ' Tirtha ' ' (pilgrimage) 
"Upabash" (fast), "Vrata" (rites), "Mala" 
(beads) and " Tilak " (marks). 2 * 

Kabir 's great friend was saint Taqi of the Sahr- 
wardi sect. His daughter Kamal was married to 
a Brahmin. When he was charged with apostacy 
before Sekandar Lodi, he defended himself by 
saying that his definite aim was to unite Hindus 
and Musalmans. His followers, Kabirpanthis, 
remember God along with their breath, in the 
manner of the Hindu Yogis. Even women were 
allowed to become his disciples and Gangabai was 

74 " Hindi-ke Musalman Kabi," p. 35. Some say that Kamal 
was a disciple of Kabir. 


one of them. The great saints Ravidas and Nam- 
deb were contemporaries of Kabir and were much 
influenced by him. Ravidas was a *' Chamar," 
a cobbler, and his disciple was the Queen Jahli 
of Mewar. 

Kabir was followed by Nanak; the former, on 
his death-bed, is said to have remarked that he 
would die in peace because Nanak would take 
his place. Nanak raised his voice of protest 
against idolatory, caste-system and communalism. 26 

Tell me where did you get two Gods ; who has led you astray ? The 
same God is called differently Allah or Ram, Karim or FCeshav, Hari 
or Hazrat. 

The same God is called Mahadev, Muhammad, Brahma or Adam*. 
Every one lives on the same earth, one is called Hindu, and the other 

The first reads the Vedas, the second the Quran, one is called 
Pundit, the other is called Maulana. 

They style themselves separately though they are pots of the same 
earth. Kabir says, both are mistaken ; none has got Ram (God). 

Macauliffe : " He who worshippeth stones, visiteth places 
Of pilgrimage, dwelleth in forests, 
And icnounceth the world, wandereth and wandereth, 
How can his filthy mind become pure?** 


His teachings were so liberal that, after his 
death, his Musalman disciples claimed his dead 
body for burial. Nanak's Japajis were more in- 
fluenced by Hinduism than by the Dohas of Kabir. 
His Musalman disciples assert that he was initiated 
into mysticism by a Sufi saint, Say id Hasan. He 
even visited Mecca on a pilgrimage. In Bagdad, 
his teachings have been embodied in Arabic and 
there stood for a long time Nanak's " Dargah " 
in that Islamic centre. 

Dadu ( 1575 A.D.) 2f> makes a definite attempt 
to combine the Hindus and Musalmans. Like 
Kabir, he consciously denounced pilgrimage, idola- 
try and outward symbols. Amongst his most 
important disciples were Sheikh Baharji, Bakarji 
and Rajjabji. 

Even in the far distant land of Assam, there 
appeared a new cult called " Mahapurushia " 
founded by Shankardeo. It was more liberal than 
Vaisnavaism. Himself he was a Kayastha. He 
counted amongst his disciples a large number of 
Musalmans. To him " Temples " were fraud and 
" Prasad " hypocrisy. Their Gurus are not 

Sanatan Goswami, a Hindu saint from Gaur, 
founded a new order called the Darweshia. The 
Darweshia cult is like that of the Vaisnavas and 

26 K. M. Sen says that Dadu was a Muslim and his original name 
is * Dayood ' which means ' devoted/ 


Bauls. They wear beads called " Tasbih-mala " 
and put on the dress of Muslim faqirs called 
'Alkalla.' Their songs contain the names of Allah, 
Khoda, Muhammad and of various saints. 

The " Saini " sect show an extreme form of 
fusion of Hindu and Muslim faiths. They drink 
intoxicating liquors and wear beads round the neck, 
bangles on the wrist and observe the fast of 
Ekadasi, etc., but like Musalmans they eat beef. 
They bring their beads, called the ** Khakshafa," 
from Mecca and the chain of beads is called 
Sulimani beads.' Their secret Mantra is " Pir 
sat hai ' (the Guru is truth). They utter every day 
the following verse : 

L o^u- ^ - ^J 

The main feature of these Hindu teachers was 
a new outlook on religious quest. They sacri- 
ficed the forms and rituals which had formed 
the bedrock of the Hindu society since the time 
of Harsha. In almost all of them, we find a direct 
and eloquent protest against the ritualistic cult 
of Hinduism and a faith in the Almighty. The 
metaphysical aspect of the Hindus was combined 
with ethical aspect of the Semitics. The rigidity 
of their dogmas and the stress on their rituals were 


much toned down by the onrush of these teachers, 
who came almost in a host. The literature of 
this period is full of Hindu ideas and thoughts. 
The Hindu poets who appeared in this period 
adopted the style of the Muslims ; no less were 
Muslim writers saturated with Hindu thoughts. 
The Muslims even addressed themselves in Indian 
languages. Amir Khusrau not only followed the 
Indian style but he combined it with Sanskrit and 
Hindi : 

f S 


-'^ r 


-$ ?)) ^i* 

Amir Khusrau (13th century) was so liberal that 
he was sneered at by the orthodox Muslims as a 
worshipper of idols. He replied to his critics : 

M^ -uLc 



*T ajj4* j-LL 

" I am begotten of love, I need no Islam, 
I have sacred threads all through my veins, there 
is no need of any other threads. 

People say Khusrau worships the idols : of 
course I am doing this and 1 stand not in need of 
the peoples of the world/' 

In the poems of Kamal (1565 A.D.), we find 
the Hindu Prophets and Gods taking a definite 
place : 

1 TO *ft 3RW tJTf Wit, 

Ram's name has fulfilled all my desires; 
Lakshman's name has shown me my destination. 
By Krishna's name, I crossed the sea ; in Vishnu's, 
name, 1 find the peace of heart." 

With the advent of Malik Muhammad Jaisi 
(1518 A.D.J Hindu allegory entered into the 
themes of the Muslim writers of Hindu poetry. 
The Hindu idea of transmigration of soul, and 
eternal synthesis of Atma and Paramatma, found 
expression in the famous allegorical treatises called 
the Padmavat. Here, under the allegory of the 


struggle between Alauddin and the Rana of Chitor, 
is excellently depicted from the Hindu standpoint 
the struggle in a soul between the forces of 
good and evil. His other Hindi works are no 
less important. " Akharabat " is still regarded as 
a standard work of Hindi literature. 

Rajjabji (1538-98) was a great disciple of the 
saint Dadu and was a follower of the Rama cult. 
He sang : 

By his time, quite a number of Muslims had 
definitely taken to the cult of Rama. 

Abdur Rahim Khan Khanan, son of Bairam 
Khan, is one of the best cultural products of the 
age. His Hindi " Dohas " read like the out- 
pourings of a great Vaishnava saint : 

" Oh ! Rahim, if you converted your mind into 
a beautiful Chakor, which day and night looks at 
the moon." 

TW it *f WIT* ^t ^Tq- I 


" Oh ! Rahim, if you desire to cross this sea 
of life, there is no other way but the shelter of 


Rahim's love poems are specimens of a won- 
derful combination of Sanskrit and Hindi : 

^ |5ITt II 


Kanu played on his flute in the midst of a 
dense grove, at the dead of a moonlit autumn 
night, I deserted cupid, son, sleep and my husband 
and ran away ; Oh God of Love, what a calamity 
has come upon my head again/' 

Rahim was a good scholar in Sanskrit and he 
is responsible for the translation of some astro- 
logical treatises. Let us quote from one of his 
Sanskrit poems of dedication : 

*' Ratnakar is your home; your spouse is 
Padma (Goddess of Fortune) . [What shall I give to 
thee, Oh lord of the world? Hence accept this my 
heart, as your heart is already taken by Radha." 

The eclectic tendency of these Hindu teachers 
and Muslim litterateurs was very favourable for 


the reception of the Muslim Sufi saints who had 
been making slow but steady progress towards 
the heart of Hinduism since their first advent 
inSind(812 A.D.). 

The origin, growth and development of Sufism 
in India is really a very interesting study. The Indian 
atmosphere, charged with its assimilative cosmic 
ideal and its Vedantic outlook, was very congenial to 
the growth of the Sufi ideas, and at the same time 
Islam, with its absence of metaphysics, its stern 
rigidity, clear commands and emphatic taboos was 
favourable to the birth of Sufism. Sufism is after 
all " an attitude of mind and heart toward God and 
problems of life which is as different from strictly 
orthodox Islam as Quakers are from Catholics." In 
course of time Sufis, by interpreting some verses of 
the Quran and some sayings of the Prophet, deper- 
sonalised Allah, the God of Mercy and Wrath, into 
an abstract idea under the title of Love and Truth. 
But these abstractions were replied to by terrible 
persecution as the orthodox refused to admit meta- 
physics into their citadel of Ethics. It is difficult 
to conjecture what would have been the trend of 
Islam a religion almost bankrupt in Metaphysics 
if it would not have come in touch with Aryan meta- 
physics in Persia or Greek intellectual abstractions 
in Yunan. The Aryan idea of receiving instructions 
through contact with a soul already illumined, 
permeated with Semitic Islam or, in other words, 
the doctrine of Pir-Murid (Master and Disciple), 


permanently stuck its root into Islam in Persia. 
Hafiz went so far as to say, " Drown your pulpit 
into the wine if your Pir says so, for your guide 
knows the way and its destination." 27 The Sufis 
believe that the marvellous powers of the illumined 
soul may be brought to the use and advantage of the 
disciple. When the Muslims appeared in India 
through the north-western gates from Persia, they 
found that the Indian mind was already in conso- 
nance with Aryan thoughts akin to those in Persia 
and that a process of fusion had already begun. In 
Sind, the Muslim Saints Chishti, Bahlol, Latiff, 
and Shah Baz were making steady progress. In 
Northern India Kabir, Nanak, Raidas and Chaitanya 
had already softened the rigidity of Hinduism and 
the Muslim Saints and Sufis found ready response 
amongst the people of India. No less were the 
Muslims influenced by the Hindu Saints. In course 
of a century, the Sufis adopted the Hindu doctrine 
of ' ' Guru-Shishya ' ' (Master and Disciple) with all 
their technique of worship. 

27 Indian synonyms for Sufi terms. Dara Shukoli refer* to similar. 

synonyms : - 

Sufi English Hindu 

Zik^ ... Meditation ... Dhyan 

Hal .. Ecstasy . Samadhi 

TanasukK . Transmigration ... Punarjanma 

Nafs . Contiol of nerves ... Nyas Pranayam 

4 Shariat, Tariqat, Ma'rfat, Haqiqat ' are equivalent to four stages 

of Hindu life - Annamay Kosh. Pranamay Kosh, Jnanamay Kosh, 

Hiianmay Kosli 

Like a Hindu YOJJI, a Sufi practise* penance of body by standing in 

the sun, plunging in water, burning in fire. 


By the 16th century, Sufi teachers divided them- 
selves into various orders according to their individual 
religious experiences ; in India there were as many 
as seventy- two sects (Bahatar Ferqa). The spirit of 
the age was very favourable to the development of 
the Sufi tendencies and orders in Islam . It was a 
belief amongst many Muslims that, after 1 ,000 years 
of Muhammad's advent, would appear Al-Mehdi who 
would " set disorders at right. 5 ' By the time Akbar 
was in India, the cycle of 1 ,000 years had just been 
completed ; volumes of literature had been written 
in all parts of Islam regarding the appearance of Al- 
Mehdi. Abdul Qadir Badauni says, in his Munta- 
khabut-Twarikh, that "questions of Sufism, scien- 
tific discussions, enquiries into philosophy and law 
were the order of the day." Many conflicting doc- 
trines and interpretations were introduced and con- 
troversy among the religionists and commentators 
was characterised by bitterest feelings and uncharit- 
able effusions. In and outside India many a 
claimant arose who professed themselves as the 
promised Messiah ; to name a few only in India 
Mir Sayid Muhammad of Jaunpur, Ruknuddin 
of Delhi, Sayid * Ahmad of Guzrat, Shaikh Ali 
of Byana. The forces of this Mehdi movement gave 
a terrible shake to the orthodox Sunni interpretations 
of Islam and prepared the way for new doctrines to 
germinate. The movement was in another way in 
consonance with the spirit of the time in India. The 
old stereotyped interpretations would not fit in with 


the expanding empire of Islam in the non-Muslim 
land of India liberal interpretations and adaptations 
were the needs of the moment ; without the spirit of 
a Mehdist the orthodox would be far too strong for 
any Muslim empire-builder in Hindusthan. 

This move of Islam on a new quest was not an 
isolated movement nor a sporadic growth. Just 
then, a wave was passing all over the world both 
in the East and in the West. It is the nature of the 
world-thought movements that civilisations of a 
more or less similar stratum are effected consciously 
or unconsciously by common currents. In Europe, 
the intellectual sphere was pulsating with a new 
wave of scholasticism leading to the Renaissance. 
The search for the whys and wherefores of every- 
thing led to the famous system of Inductivism in 
the field of logic and enquiry ; the quest of the old 
truth led to the rebirth of the old learning. The 
whole civilised world was in an intellectual travail. 
The Islamic world and the Indian mind were also 
recipients of the same thought-currents. The rise 
of Ramanand, Ravidas, Kabir, Chaitanya, Dadu, 
Mirabai and others on the one hand, and of Saber, 
Abu Ali Kalandar, Nizamuddin Awlia, Bahlol and 
others on the other, were in part due to the time 
force. Neo-Sufism and scholastic theology and repu- 
diation of the orthodox interpretations of the Hadis 
and the Quran are but the different features of the 
same movement or their reactions. In India, the 
scholastics and spiritualists were all " putting the 


world to flames. " The mind of young Abul Fazl 
was not satisfied with the learning he had in India. 
He intended to move to Laban, Tibet, Bagdad "in 
quest of goods " for his ever -expanding intellect. 
Badauni compares him to "a man who, having a 
light in his hand and not knowing what to do, came 
out into the street in the day-time." Indeed the 
scholastics, by the light of their intellect, " made a 
day of a night and a night of a day." Akbar 
appearing in that age in the midst of the scholastic 
environments during the process of cultural fusion, 
was but the natural product of the spirit of the time 
and not a mere accident. 

4 U8UJ5 


The birth of Akbar marks the consummation 
of the process of unification in the two greatest 
houses of Central Asia, those of Chengiz Khan 
and Timur-Lang. Akbar combined in him all 
that was best in the two of the greatest men 
of Central Asia in the middle ages. Chengiz 
Khan, apparently known in history as the scourge 
of God and man, was not altogether devoid of 
finer elements in his nature. Without entering 
into a justification or vindication of Chengiz Khan, 
it may be stated that, in religion, he gives the lie to 
the popular conception of the great conqueror. 
In religious belief, Chengiz was a Shaman. 3 " He 

1 " Shaman " is possibly a loose form of Buddhist *' Shramana " 
which means a monk, though Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. XI, p 441, 
suggests that " Shaman " is derived from native Tungus name for priest 
or medicine man Though originally Buddhist, Shamans have deviated 
so much from the religion of Buddha, that one hardly finds any similarity 
between the two " Idols are worshipped in this form of religion but 
its special feature is the influence of the Shamans (or priests). These 
persons differ not very greatly from African rain-doctors. They practise 
astrology to have communication with demons and familiars. Their main 
power lies in the fact that they pretend to have information from the 
unseen world as to those who are about to cause misfortune in the future " 
(Kennedy, Vol I, p. 14.). The Shaman foietells the future and declares 
the will of God ; when he awakens (from his trance under the spell of 
incantation or herbs), he remembers nothing of what has passed. 
Rythmic songs, prayers and adorations are used by the Shamans in the 


believed in God but not in dogma, respected all 
religions and was often present at all religious 
ceremonies of his subjects, for, from the state point 
of view, he found it useful that the people under 
his authority should give evidence of their faith in 
God." 2 After the conquest of Iran, Chengiz 
brought some learned men to his court, and asked 
them for information on the doctrine of Islam. 
He did not find it inferior to any other religion he 
knew, hut denounced pilgrimage to Mecca as 
useless, saying that the whole world is the house 
of God and that prayers reach him from every- 
where. 3 Howorth, in his history of the Mughals, 
says, "Justice, tolerance, discipline, virtues that 
make up the modern ideal of a state, were taught 
and practised at his court/' 1 In keeping with 
his contemporary usages, Chengiz was absolutely 
careless of human lives ; "he had a general belief 
that all religions had more or less truth and more 
or less untruth in them." 5 "The body that is 
born is immortal. It goes hence without home 
or resting place. " h 

This spirit of free-thinking is a common trait 
in the family of the Mughals of Central Asia, " they 
are not fettered by any belief, restrictions of 

2 Felix Vayle, Islamic Culture, Hyderabad, Vol. I, 1927, p 17 

3 Ibid, p. 18 

4 Howorth gives a fine description of the Mughals in their original 

5 Kennedy, History of the Mughals, Vol. I, p. 13. 

6 Howorth, Vol. I, p 104 


dogmas." 7 An eclectic spirit pervaded the whole 
family of Chengiz. " They took part equally in 
Christian (of the Nestorian form), Muhammadan and 
Buddhist services." 8 Howorth describes a scene of 
Mangu Khan's court in which " Christian services 
were performed." " On one feast day, Mangu 
Khan's chief wife and her children entered the 
Nestorian Chapel, kissed the right hand of the 
saints, and then gave her right hand to be kissed 
according to the fashions of the Nestorians. 
Mangu also was present and with his spouse sat 
down on the gilt throne before the altar." 

Even Hulaku Khan, who is said to have killed 
eight hundred thousand men at Bagdad, protected 
the tomb of Ali at Kerbela. 10 They were liberal 
enough to employ Christian generals and merce.- 
naries. Though they carried the message of death 
and destruction in wha :ever direction they turned 
their eyes, still " they carried to and brought from 
those lands, all the knowledge they could com- 
mand." A spirit of inquiry was a native 
instinct in them. *' Though not an originative 
people," says H. G Wells, "yet as transmitters 
of knowledge and method their influence upon 
world's history has been enormous." 11 Kublei 

7 Howorth, Vol. I, p. 202. 

* Kennedy, Vol. I, p. 27 

9 Howorth, Vol I, p. 190 

10 Kennedy, Vol. I, p 30. 

Outlines of the History of the World by H. G. Wells, gives a fine 
description of the Mongol culture. 


Khan, grandson of Chengiz, sent to the Pope, 
in 1 269, a mission with evident intentions of finding 
some common mode of action with the Western 
kingdom. He asked that one hundred men of 
learning and ability should be sent to his court 
to establish an understanding. Here was an 
opportunity for the Popes to fulfil their ambition of 
converting the great Mughals to their faith for which 
attempts had been previously made. But when 
Kublei asked for some men of knowledge, they 
failed to utilise the opportunity, for papacy was 
then at its worst and struggling for existence. The 
two friars sent were unequal to the task. The 
attempts made by the Nestorians and Catholics 
proved abortive. Inspired by the great Chinese 
sage, Chu-Tsi, Kublei Khan, the Mongol, accepted 
a Chinese name, for he was an Emperor of China. 
He gave a wonderful tone to the Shamanic 
cult. "He began to respect the religion and 
culture of the conquered and did not believe in 
the cultural superiority of the victors. He was 
kind to the learned, to the artists and poets, and 
gave them shelter, irrespective of their religion 
and tradition. He completely identified himself 
with the interest of his subjects. The efforts of 
Kublei to revive Chinese agriculture, his great 
struggle against famine, his financial laws he 
ordered the printing of bank-notes and his works 
of charity deserve admiration of all generations. 
The Chinese historians recognise that this 


descendant of the greatest swordsman was their 
greatest ruler. " JL> 

If Kublei was great as a ruler of Chinese soil, he 
was greater still as a ruler of Chinese soul. To decide 
what was the best among the religions of the people, 
he called a council of the wise men of all belief s. 1;5 
Thus came the Muslim divines, Buddhist Shamans, 
Christian theologians to the Imperial Court and we 
possess a very fascinating record of their discus- 
sions in the writings of Rubrukis, the ambassador 
of Saint Louis, King of France. 11 The Christian 
Gospels were asked to be translated. Mati-Dhwaja, 
the great Lama, was at his court and was afterwards 
honoured with the seat of the Tibetan Dalai Lama. 
A great Lama, named Shakya Pandit lj from Tibet 
(probably of Indian origin), went over to his court, 
and is said to have delivered three lectures on 
Buddhism ; he ultimately convinced Kublei of the 
greatness of the teachings of Buddha and was 
accepted as the ' Phagspa ' (or preceptor). The 
' Phagspa ' is credited with having invented a new 
alphabet for the use of Kublei 's empire, combining 

12 Relix Vayle, Islamic Culture, Vol. I, p. [9. 

13 In China, Kublei had a precedent in Tai-Sing who called a 
similar council to decide the merits of Neostiian Christianity, Islam, 
Buddhism and Laotzeism. Beginning from Asok, we find, " Religious 
conferences follow one upon the other at the court of the Asiatic rulers in 
search of a means of reconciling the different doctrines.'* Felix Vayle. 

14 Guillamme Baucher, a Persian, and Eaquette de-Melz, a French 
lady, are also mentioned in this connection 

15 Sanskrit *' Shiksh," Chinese Po-se-pa, Bhaspa and Phagspa; 
Acharya, meaning " preceptor." 


the script of the Chinese, Mongols and Zoroas- 
trians. 10 This spirit of enquiry, a tendency to 
free-thinking and absence of a steady religious 
background are mainly responsible for the changes 
of beliefs in the Mughal tribes in different parts 
of Asia. The Mughals in China adopted 
Buddhism ; in South Russia and Western Turki- 
stan, they embraced Islam ; in Kipchak, though 
Muslim by profession, they still retain most of their 
earlier traces . of Shamanism. The Mughals of 
Ukraine reverted to Christianity, forming the 
Cossacks nomad half-civilised tribes in Russia 
and Poland The pliability of the Mughals to 
some extent continued even when they reached 
India after two hundred years of their stay in 
Islamic environments. If they had not embraced 
Islam before they came to India, they might as 
well have accepted the religion of India with all 
its merits and demerits. 

The same spirit characterises the paternal 
line of Akbar. The early Turks who accepted 
Islam, made it a condition precedent that, even 
when Muslims, they would not part with wine and 
would not kill cows ] ' \ By no means was their pro-* 
fession of Islam orthodox.\ Timur-Lang was so 
wonderful a personality that a thousand and one 
fascinating fables grew around him and he is 

For a discussion on this srript, see the aiticle on the alphabet 
of Phagspa in Asia'Major - Kennedy, Vol I, p 34. 
17 Sachau's Introduction to Alberuni. 


depicted in most diverse lights according to the 
temperament of the authors. He is claimed as 
an orthodox Sunni, and no less a Shia ; some 
credit him to be a Gazi ; others shun him as a 
Schismatic ; he is hated in Europe as a scourge 
of God and men. He is cursed by others as a 
pagan too. And there is more or less truth in 
every one of the epithets applied to him. 

His conquest extended from the Mediterranean 
to the Ganges and from Pekin to Moscow. His 
history has been written by the vanquished, and 
certainly the spirit of venom, which the vanquished 
bore against the victor, has entered into their 
writings. 1R The Sunni Musalmans, whom he 
practically destroyed in Bagdad and Allepo, 
never accepted him as an orthodox Musalman and 
he was looked down upon by the Khalifas and 
Ulama as a pagan. He did not feel much rever- 
ence for Mecca. Even after the conquest of the 
Khelafat, Say ids refused to regard him as a 
monarch of Islam. in In his communications, he 
never styled himself a monarch of Islam, which isr 
invariably the custom with orthodox Muham- 
madans. He styled himself, "I, Timur, a servant 
of God/' He never changed his hereditary name 

* 8 Harold Lamb, " Tamerlane the Earth Shaker,*' a well-known 
work on Timur. Zafarnama, written by Sarafuddin Ali, under the patro- 
nage of the Timurids, is full of flattery. Ajaib-ul-Moqdur fi Akhbar- 
i-Timur by Ahmad bin Abbas Shah is full of venom, and i* not trust- 

79 Harold Lamb has thrown interesting sidelights on Timur 's religion. 


*' Amir Taimur Gurgan." 20 He never scrupled to 
destroy the Khalifa and had the Khutba read in his 
name. He did not even hesitate to assume the 
title of Khalifat -ul-lillah to pose as the greatest com- 
mander of the faithful, vindicating the superiority 
of Timurid arms to those of Abbassids. He gladly 
employed Christians as his envoys to different 
contemporary courts. The claim of his panegyrists 
that he was an orthodox Sunni Musalman is 
not tenable. The circumstances which drew 
his profession of the Sunni creed, were purely 
political. Fariduddin Bey, in his famous work, 
Mustahat-i-Sultanat, J1 states the occasion of his 
declaration of the Sunni creed. Yusuf of Khaput, 
flying from the wrath of Timur, sought shelter at the 
court of Bayezid of Turkey. To Timur's demand 
for surrender Bayezid gave an evasive reply by 
introducing irrelevant reflections on his faith and 
orthodoxy. This step drew from Timur a great 
profession of Sunni orthodoxy against the faith 
of Bayezid. The altercation ended in the 
famous battle of Angora in 1 402 and in the death 
of Bayezid. Then followed the vindication of his 
orthodoxy in Rum, when the Ottoman Turks had 
to acknowledge his supremacy and accord to 

20 Amir wears a commander's crest which is hereditary in his 
family. Gurgan means a son-in-law and it icfers to his ancestor Nuyun 
Karachar's marriage with a daughter of the family of Changiz Khan. 
See Abul Fazl, Vol. Ill, p. 204. 

21 Published from Constantinople, 1274 A.M. 



him the title of Khalifat-ul-lillah. The pretension 
of Khalifat-ul-lillah continued in the house of 

t Timur till the end of their dynasty in 1857 after 
he Sepoy Mutiny. 22 

Musalman or no Musalman believer or non- 
believer to him, every one, who dared challenge 
his supremacy, was to be put to the sword. The 
speeches which Timur delivered on the eve of his 
expeditions were always more political than reli- 
gious. 2<J The peculiarity is that all his wars were 
fought against the Islamic countries except against 
Georgia and India (where the reigning monarch was 
a Muhammadan though the population was mostly 
Hindu). Professions of orthodoxy suited those 
conquerors best, for religious susceptibility is easily 
touched and, when inflamed, it works wonders. 
To us, it seems strange that he believed himself to 
be an agent of God on earth and that it was the 
commission of God on him to conquer the world. 24 
To oppose him was to go against the command of 
God. He would not believe like a Shia that 
the Khelafat belonged to the family of the Prophet 

22 Parliamentary speeches in the House of Commons on the Sepoy 
Mutiny, referred to in the Leicester University Lecture, 1924 (Islamic 

23 ' Institutes of Timur ' gives a clue to his mind. 

24 A similar belief is ascribed to the Mughals in general that God 
created two worlds and kept heaven for himself and gave this earth 
to his son, Chengiz. The great conqueror of Thebes believed that he 
was the son of Zeus. The great Corsican thought himself to be guided 
by the unseen hand of Destiny. Kaiser Wilhelm felt a similar Divine 


nor would he associate, like a Sunni, the Khelafat 
with the suzerainty of Ka'ba. It would be an 
irony of circumstances for the man who did not 
in the least hesitate to build twenty turrets of heads 
of believers in Allepo and Damascus 25 to pose 
as the champion of true Faith and to attempt at the 
conversion of the land of non-believers. To 
Timur, ambition was his guiding star, blood was 
his delight, success was his joy. Timur's intrepid 
Turki instinct, with its insatiable thirst for blood, 
could only be appeased with blood. 

But Timur the man is drowned in the midst of 
Timur the conqueror. Below the blood of the Turk 
and Mughal that ran in his veins, flowed a current 
of the mystic in him. Behind the turrets of 70,000 
human skulls, behind the graves of 4,000 human 
beings buried in Armenia, behind the wall of 
2,000 Shaikhs of Seistan, Timur the man is lost 
sight of. " His anecdotes have been calumniated 
by vituperation of the chroniclers of Persia and 
Byzantium whom he had defeated/' 20 They 
failed to see that Timur " was as prone as any 
medieval catholic, wherever he found a shrine, to 
pray at it, asking protection from the dead saint 
who might be buried there. 21 They failed to 
decipher in the midst of the ashes of destruction that 
Timur's order was to save colleges and hospitals. 

2 5 E. G. Browne, Literary History of Persia, p. 160. 

26 Felix Vayle, Islamic Culture, Vol. I, 1927. 

27 Kennedy, Vol. I, p. 76. 


Every evening after the turmoils of the war were 
over, he called the group of the pious and the 
learned men and had discussions with them, which 
he prized much." 28 The bloody Timur spent most 
of his hours in " talk with green-tuibanned holy men 
who had visited the Shrines of Islam and gained 
sanctity thereby." 29 Bin Arab Shah says that he 
used to have books read to him every evening. 

Timur tells us in his Institutes 10 ; "Every 
kingdom which I reduced, I gave back the 
government of that kingdom to the prince thereof, 
and I bound him in chains of kindness and 
generosity ; I drew them into obedience and sub- 
mission. The refractory I overcome by their own 
devices, and I appoint over them a vigorous, 
sagacious and upright governor/' This version 
exactly fits in with the spirit of Timur. To the 
refractory, he was a veritable instrument of destruc- 
tion ; to the submissive he was all bountiful. 
Before a conquest, he planted himself outside 
the city, raised a white flag as a sign of peace 
inviting submission ; if submission was not tendered, 
a red flag was hoisted, intimating the death of the 
nobles; if yet submission was not tendered, black 
flag would fly as a signal for the burial of the city ; 
and on the Dark Horses would gallop to the 
enemy's city with unvarying consequences. 

28 For a detailed description, see Institutes of Timur, Vol. II, 
Davy's edition. 

29 Harold Lamb, Tameilane, p. 21. 

30 Institutes of Timur, Vol. II, (Davy's Trans.). 


One can only wonder how this conqueror, in 
the midst of his universal pillage, plunder and 
destruction, could care to take with him the learned, 
even in his campaigns. 

To him, the Shaikhs were as much a necessity as 
the soldiers. In war, the place of the learned was 
assigned at the farthest and safest corners cer- 
tainly not a happy compliment to them. His 
regard for the Shaikhs and Ulama was too uni- 
versally known. In the destruction of Bagdad, 
so famous in history, so notorious for its cruelties, 
he spared the learned. This peculiar personality 
of Timur the Terrible and Timur the Mystic is 
indeed an interesting study. A mystic regard for 
Darweshes and Saints and an admiration for the 
learned went hand in hand with the cold-blooded 
disregard of human life. 

Shah Rukh (1304-47) was interesting, though 
in another way. " He desired not to extend," says 
Sir Malcolm, " but to repair the ravages committed 
by his father." This prince also encouraged men 
of science and learning and his court was 
splendid." n "In brief, the empire founded by 
Timur was refined by the efforts of Mirza Shah 
Rukh, who during a long period busied himself in 
repairing the devastation wrought by his prede- 
cessor It is an extraordinary fact that the son of 

one so hard-hearted should be so kindly, amiable, 

& Malcolm, " History of Persia," Vol. I. p. 487. 


gracious and friendly to learning, showing favour 
and courtesy to all, specially to scholars and 
men of parts.' 1 Abdul Qadir of Muraghah the 
musician, Queyamuddin the architect and engineer, 
Maulana Khalid the painter, adorned his court. T2 
" On Friday and Monday evenings," says Muazzam 
Bashi, " he used to assemble those who knew the 
Quran by heart and caused them to recite the entire 
scripture in his presence." 

By-sundar, son of Shah Rukh, was a great 
patron of learning. Poets, artists, scholars and 
painters found a lord bountiful in him. They 
came from Iraq, Pars, Azar-baijan and from all 
parts of Asia. 

Ulagh, another son of Shah Rukh, built at 
Samarkand his famous observatory and compiled 
the famous astronomical tables known as Zich-i- 
Ulagh Beg. 

" The Timurids were no barbarians," says 
Dr. F. R. Martin, 83 " indeed everything goes to 
show that they were highly civilised and refined 
men, real scholars, loving art for the sake of art 
alone without ostentation. In the intervals between 
their battles, they enjoyed thinking of their 
libraries, and writing poetry, many of them having 
composed poetry that far excels that of their poets." 
By-sundar was the founder of the most elegant 

32 " The miniature painting and painters of Persia, India and 
Turkey, " by F. R. Martin. 

33 Turkhi, Trans, by Farughi, p. 266-67. 


style of book production in Persia, well deserved 
to be remembered as one of the greatest bibliophiles 
of the world. " 

Abu Sayid Mirza sought "enlightenment 
from Darwesh and ascetic." n4 

Omar Shaikh, father of Babar, "had a great 
liking for the poets and could recite poetry. He 
had a poetical temperament but was not solicitous 
of writing verses, spent most of his time in reading 
books, historical and poetical. The Shahnama 
was often recited before him and he was an excel- 
lent companion." iV> He had a great respect for 
Darweshes and Saints and often would sit at their 
feet for wisdom. 

His son, Babar, is indeed one of the most 
romantic personalities of mediaeval Asia. He 
combined in him the blood of two great houses 
of Chengiz Khan and of Timur-Lanr. r ' Left to the 
tender mercies of his unkind tribesmen, he had to 
defend his patrimony at Fargana against enemies 
which included, amongst others, his own uncle. 
T he Sunni Khalifa claimed his allegiance as he was 
a Musalman.' 7 The Shia King of Persia demand- 

34 Atml FazI, Vol. Ill, p. 216 

35 Ibtd., pp. 218-19. 

36 Babat's fall er, Cmar Shaikh, mairied the sister of Muhan mad 
Khan, a regular descendant of Chogtai Khan, the head of Choglai tranch 
of Timurid house. For the genealogy of Muslim Kings, Lane-Poole ia 

37 For Khelafat pretensions on Muslims, see Hughes, Diction- ry of 


ed his obedience as the lord of the land under his 
suzerainty. Tossing like a wave in the midst of 
the stormy sea, he dashed six times against the 
shores of his patrimony at Fargana and was six times 
swept out of it. It really passes the imagination 
of an ordinary man how, in the midst of the vicis- 
situdes and turmoils of his life, he could maintain 
an equanimity of spirit, sufficient for composing 
couplets or for reciting them. In him the intrepid 
spirit of a Mongol was softened by the mystic 
element of a Turk; he was as much an orthodox 
Musalman as an apostate. Though punctual at 
his prayers, strict in observance of formalities of 
family customs, religion without magic and divina- 
tion had but little influence over him. Babar had, 
in his religious beliefs, many elements to which an 
orthodox Musalman would seriously object. The 
political necessity which drew from Timur 
his profession of orthodox Sunnism (in answer to 
Bayezid's reproach), 3 was equally responsible for 
making Babar profess Shia doctrine of Shah Ismail. 
As a mark of his respect to his orthodox Shia 
suzerain, Babar had to accept Shia-i-Taj,'' 9 though 
friend ' ' was the term applied to indicate their 
relation. 10 He struck coins bearing the Shia texts 
immediately on his arrival in India. Babar struck 
coins bearing the names of the first four Khalifas 

38 See Buckler's lecture in the Leicester University, 1924. 

39 Shi a-i-Taj customary cap worn by a Shia. 

40 Buckle's lecture on Mahzar of 1579. 


and the Khutba was read in his name. The 
general character of the religious convictions of the 
Timurid family is excellently depicted by Pringle 
Kennedy in his famous work ' ' The History of the 
Great Moghuls." One great factor of the Mughal 
character is that ' * he was not in his native steppes 
so bound up in his religion as other races... The 
native of Central Asia, though he had his omens 
and dreams, his witches and witchcrafts, lived on 
the whole free from much religious restraints. Nor 
has his Islamism caused him to be much more 
bound. He had accepted the Muhammadan creed, 
but only very partially the Muhammadan social 
system which accompanied it, and his life has 
retained as its basis much of the social law of the 
steppes." Babar and Humayun were never 
happier in their palaces than in their camps and 
the forests. 4 N 

Babar hardly followed the Sunni orthodox 
social system which is a part of the Islamic creed ; 
he enjoyed the prerogative of social freedom. He 
enjoyed wine cups as much as any other of 
his family an enjoyment strictly prohibited. 42 
Submission to Shia creed was enforced by political 
necessity while in Persia, and renouncement of the 
same and striking of the coins bearing the names of 

41 Kennedy, Vol. I. pp. 12-29. 

42 Sultan All Mirza, one of his ancestors, drank for 20 to 30 days 
continuously. Blochmann, p. 58. Timur'a wife drank wine openly ; a 
Christia i ambassador (Sanjak) was present in such a party. Davy's 

6 1280B 


the first four Khalifas, were due to the same 
motive." Religion seems to have had anything 
but a powerful influence upon him save indeed as 
regards submission to the will of God and belief 
in the efficacy of prayer. 

Humayun in point of religion was no better and 
no worse than his father, Babar. Though he was 
under the influence of a saint, he accepted the Shia- 
i- Taj, and wore the Khelat (robe of honour) offered 
by the Shia King of Persia. He went so far as 
to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of a Shia saint 
at Ardbil in north-western Persia near the Caspian 
Sea. His change of the title of Sultanate of 
Hindusthan to '* Masnad-i-imarat," smacks of a 
complete surrender to Persian influenced" If his 
father had stetped himself in wine, Humayun 
fumed himself with the smoke of opium. Love 
of books, association with the learned men, and 
visits to tombs and saints the characteristics of his 
line were all present in him. His death from a 
fall from the steps of his library at Delhi is an 
eloquent testimony to his love of study. 

In short, a spirit of cultural eclecticism, almost 
unfettered by the limitations of Islam, though they 
had accepted it 1 50 years before, existed in the two 
great houses of Central Asia from which the 
Chogtai family of India traced their descent. They 

43 Humayun also venerated ' L ight ' and his alleged apostacy has 
been discussed by Dr. Tripathi in his " Some Aspects of Muslim 
Administration," p. 1 !6. 


continued their old social system, with love of 
Shamanic customs, their love for literature and 
literary men, with their drinking bouts and with 
their cruel propensities and disregard of human 
lives. The Torah of Chengiz Khan was still 
quoted, and when necessary, put into practice. 
The kettledrum and horse tails were still the signs 
of the dignity of a Chogtai. 

In the 14th and 15th centuries, so far as India 
was concerned , a tendency towards a fusion and rap- 
prochement between Hindu and Muslim cultures, 
was already in evidence. The Sufi teachers were 
then in possession of the field, the Hindu saints 
had prepared the soil, and seeds of eclecticism, 
partly conscious and partly unconscious, had been 
sown. The time was ripe for the advent of a 
great man and a great ruler who would co-ordinate 
the jarring elements of the two. The priest 
appeared in 1542 in the desert of Amarkot in Sind, 
that cradle of Sufis wherefrom had sprung for the 
last 400 years myriads of saints. He was born of 
a mother who had behind her a great legacy of the 
culture of Transoxiana. !t in the house of a Hindu 
Raja who, out of pity, had given shelter to 
Humayun. It was no mere accident but a pheno- 
menon, associated with a love for the Hindus 
which the great Emperor manifested. 

44 Hamida Banu helormed to a very old and cultured family of 


After many a trial and a change, Humayun 
recovered the throne of Delhi in 1 555, at Sarhind, 
the legacy of Timur-Lang. Out of the clutches 
of the Shah of Persia, the father and son breathed 
freely. But the span was short ; before young 
Akbar had time to accommodate himself to the new 
environments, he was called upon, at the early age 
of fourteen, to perform the huge task of governing 
India, as yet a land of uncertainty for the family of 
Timur, with enemies open and secret. Any moment 
he might have to share the fate of his grand- 
father at Fargana or of his father in India. But 
through courage and fortitude and with assistance 
of the iron hand of Bairam Khan, he surmounted 
the troubles at the battle of Panipat in 1556. 3 
But even after Panipat, the throne had so many 
thorns by its side that it was impossible for any- 
body to stay there without being pricked. The 
position of the Delhi Government was not at all 
encouraging. Kashmir was independent. The 
Rajput Chiefs of Central India were not only 

1 The first glimpse of the greatness of Akbar was shown in his 
refusal to strike Hemu : 4< How can 1 strike a man who is as good as 
dead." Lane-Poole, Mediaeval India, p. 241. 

The argument of Smith that Akbar killed Hemu, is not convincing. 
Smith's Akbar, the Great Mogul, p. 39; Tarikh-i-Afghana, E & D., 
Vol. V, p. 48. 


independent, they were waiting for an opportunity 
to strike at the Empire. Guzrat and Malwa were 
being ruled by a Muhammadan dynasty. The 
Bahmani and the Vijayanagar Kingdoms paid little 
heed to the Delhi Government. In the east, the 
Kararani and Lohani Afghans controlled Bengal, 
Behar and Orissa, owing but a nominal allegiance 
to the Delhi authority. The Shah of Persia still 
looked upon Akbar and Bairam as his deputies 
and claimed suzerainty. A firman of condolence 
contained direct references to these Imperial pre- 
tensions. All were watching the course and 
development of events at the centre from where the 
boy Emperor's ejection was considered only a 
question of days and months. But Bairam, a friend 
of Humayun in his extremity, fully justified himself 
as the guardian of his friend's son, though 
in the end possibly his Tartar spirit made him 
stretch out for the throne of India. 2 But Akbar 
was not unequal to the task ; with an acumen and 
judgment hardly to be expected in a boy of his age, 
he managed the ugly situation with astute skill. 
Maham Anaga, who had organised the conspiracy 
in the harem for the fall of Bairam, put her 
infamous son Adam Khan at the forefront, herself 
pulling the wires of intrigue from behind the veil. 
Bairam 's absence raised cupidity in the breasts 

2 Smith is of opinion that Bairam was honourable enough net 
to contest the throne of Hindustan, He lays the whole blame at the 
door of Maham Anaga. 


of the refractory Chiefs and Jagirdars and even of 
generals and kinsmen. Akbar could not make 
out whom to believe and whom not to believe. 
It was indeed a hard task for anybody with the 
tradition of his father and grandfather having been 
turned out of their respective patrimonies in Samar- 
kand and Hindustan, with no Bairam to lead the 
armies to victory, and Akbar as yet within his teens. 
Akbar had a trying time indeed ; one defeat would 
immediately be the occasion for simultaneous 
revolts in all parts of Hindustan ; one undiplo- 
matic move might cost him the loyalty of his own 
Turki followers ; one step to the left might bring 
him face to face with currents that would sweep 
him away nobody knew where. He became 
convinced that the Afghans could hardly reconcile 
themselves to subordination to the youthful 
Emperor who belonged to a different race and with 
whom they had no link of tradition. The Turko- 
Mongol free-lancers, who had followed his grand- 
father, were hardly willing to follow the lead of 
the puny kingling. There was little possibility 
of forming a solid block of the Musalmans against 
the infidels. The first wave of the invaders' 
religious zeal had ebbed away by this time. They 
were as much disunited as the Hindus had been 
during the days of their first appearance in India. 
Fortunately for him, there was as little chance of 
his enemies making a common cause against him : 
each wanted to be great and independent. The 


force of disunion was working everywhere. Thus 
the very number of his adversaries made the task of 
overcoming them one by one easy for Akbar. He 
thought of playing against the jealous Musalmans 
with the help of the valiant and much wronged 
Hindus. Babar's instruction to Humayun on the 
eve of his Indian expedition were still very fresh 
in his mind 3 : 

"O, my Son, People of diverse religion inhabit India .. 

It, therefore, behoves you that .... 

You should not allow religious prejudice to influence 
your mind, and administer impartial justice, having 
regard to the religious susceptibilities and religious 
customs of all sections of the people. 

You should in particular refrain from the slaughter 

of cows 

You should never destroy places of worships of any 


The propagation of Islam will be better carried on 

with the faith of love and obligation than with 

the sword of supression." 

There was before him a leaf out of the political 
philosophy of his great predecessor, Sher Shah. 
Sher Shah's government had acknowledged the 
desirability of giving an orientation to the objective 
of Muslim rule in India. That great Indo-Afghan 
was the consummated link of history between the 
untrimmed Turko- Afghans and the civilised Turko- 
Mughals of India. He was the embodiment and 
an expression of the assimilative forces that had 

3 State Library MSS- of Bhopal. 


for long been progressively Indianising the Muslim 
newcomers. In him had blossomed forth all that 
was best among the pre-Akbar Musalmans of India. 
He had enunciated and practised a new principle 
of political philosophy for them in India, which 
recommended them to go beyond the orthodox inter- 
pretations of the Shariat and to accommodate them- 
selves with the unbelievers in the government of 
India which was mostly infidel. The fact of 
importance about this son of Sasaram Jagirdar is 
not that there was a large Hindu element in the 
ranks of his soldiery, nor is it that the chief of 
them was a Hindu ; nor is it that he started 
separate inns for the Hindus and the Musal- 
mans ; it is that the spirit of his administration 
was Indian instead of being either Hindu 
or Muslim. The spirit of his administration 
was essentially and not unavowedly Indian or 
'* Hindustani/' The fundamental assimilative- 
ness of the soil, which had received into the vast 
ocean of its thought and discipline successive 
streams of foreign invaders like the Kushans, 'the 
Huns, the Sakas in the ancient past, was long 
operating upon the crusaders of the Crescent by 
force of arms and governmental pressure. India 
achieved what Persia had not- Sher made the 
Musalmans Indians. Sher took a long time mak- 
ing it for the most part in that subtle unconscious 
way which history has repeatedly shown to be 
characteristically India's own. 


By the time of Akbar, long contact with the 
unbending Hindus had made the Musalmans 
give up much of their zeal and heart for prosely- 
tisation. Community of political and economic 
interests was gradually asserting its inevitable 
superiority over differences of faith between the 
idolaters and the iconoclasts. 

The establishment of the great central Asian 
dynasty beyond India had seriously disturbed 
the supply of soldiers in India, so that the 
Indian Sultans had increasingly to requisition 
the services of the Hindus. Constant Mongolo- 
Turkish invasions during the Slave hegemony and 
during the Khilji and the Toghluq periods had 
made for a wholesome union of political interests 
between the Hindus and the Musalmans against 
Timur. Hindus and Muhammadans had fought 
shoulder to shoulder for the defence of the 
Sultanate. The Chogtai invasion indeed had 
driven Muslims into the arms of the Hindus. The 
necessity of the hour agreed with the process of 
jhe history ; a rapprochement was inevitable in 
consequence. Thus we see, in the Deccan, when 
a conspiracy was set on foot in the Bahmani King- 
dom against Mahmud Gawan for being a foreigner, 
the Hindus joined hands with the Muslims to 
fight the foreign element. The political disturb- 
ances following the Chogtai invasion and the conse- 
quent rise of petty chieftainships, brought the 
Hindus into prominence. That the Hindus did 


not make any serious attempt to found a Hindu 
Empire is exp]ained by the fact, amongst others, 
that the Hindus did not look upon themselves as 
a separate political entity and were willing to make 
common cause with the Muhammadan brethren. 
The idea of a common Hindu-Muslim rule was 
the dream of Sher Shah ; but unfortunately 
he came to the throne of Hindustan in the 
evening of his life, and lived to rule only for five 
years. Adil Shah, though devoted more to the 
culture of Hindu music than to the affairs of state, 
had good sense of handing over the charge of his 
government to the care of an able Hindu, Hem- 
chandra by name. Indeed, in the defence of the 
Sur dynasty, the services of this Hindu general of 
a Muslim ruler were invaluable. 

By the time Akbar came to the throne of Delhi, 
the Hindu element in the Muslim administration had 
become a permanent factor. In social life, many of 
the beliefs of the Hindus had invaded the Muslim 
citadel some of those being directly against the 
teachings of the Muslim religion. Hindu astrology ,, 
divination, magic, so much decried by the Prophet, 
were believed in by them. " The miracles of the 
Yogis were related by the orthodox writers with as 
perfect a coviction as could have been given to those 
in the Quran ; witchcraft was universally believed ; 
omens and dreams were paid the greatest attention 
to." t Even Humayun had fashipned his audience 

4 Elphinstone, p. 476, 9th edition. 


hall according to the Hindu manner 5 : it had seven 
rooms named according to the seven stars. He 
used those rooms according to the influence of the 
stars. The visitors were allowed to use those 
rooms according to the influence of the stars on 
their life. Culturally, socially and politically there/ 
was going on a process of fusion. 

To Akbar, an enemy, be he a Hindu or a^ 
Muslim, was an enemy of the state and he dealt 
with him as such. A defeated foe, be he a 
Hindu or a Muslim an enemy who had submit- 1 
ted engaged his greatest consideration. The 
practice was laudable in a land where Bal ban's 
punishment of Tughral Beg of Bengal, where 
Alauddin's philosophy of exterminating the whole 
family for the fault of one rebel, were still fresh in 
the minds of men. The gift of a Khelat or a 
throne instead of death to a vanquished antagonist 
might well have amazed the Turko- Afghans. The 
magnanimity of this young Emperor sprang more 
from his nature than from his policy. Before he 
.was twenty, he abolished the Jezia and the pilgrim 
tax. The punishment of Adam Khan after his 
misbehaviour with the family of Baz Bahadur of 
Malwa and the execution of Pir Muhammad left a 

5 Rampran Gupta, " Mughal Rajbansha. p. 106 " : 

(a) the " moon-chamber " for poets, travellers, ambassadors; 

(b) the "mars-chamber " for religious law-givers and adminis- 

trators ; 

(c) the " mercury-chamber " for warriors and soldiers, etc. 

6 Elphinstone, p. 372. 


very deep impression on the vanquished that justice 
.could be expected even against the most powerful 
noble of the court. ) Liberality, justice and paternal- 
ism became the spirit of the age} This liberalism 
in politics expanded the mind of the Emperor 
which in future became congenial to the growth 
and expression of liberalism in religion. His 
birth in a Hindu house, the sweetness of his 
Hindu consorts 7 in the harem, the faithful services 
of his Hindu generals abroad, and the beautiful 
episode of the Rani of Wan Sal 8 when she accepted 
Humayun as her brother, left an indelible impres- 
sion on his mind. He became convinced that the 
finer elements of humanity might be found even 
amongst the non-believers. 

The early life of Akbar in that beautiful land 
of culture, Persia, had expanded his mind ; her 
glorious monarchs, and the constant changes of her 
political history had filled his mind. The Shia 
tendencies of the land of Persia silently penetrated 
into him. His early Shia teachers had brought 
his mind to the better side of the Persian culture by 
their teachings in the poems of the Persian mystics. 
The influence of Shah Abdul Latif and his lesson 
in Sulh-i-kul 10 were never lost upon him. They 

7 For the wives of Akbar, see Najatur Rashid and Rampran 
Gupta's Mughal Rajbansha, p. 178 

8 Sind and its Sufis, by J. P. Guiraj, p. 41. 

9 Can we not trace a little Shia influence in giving his sons the 
names Hasan and Husain the heroes of the Shias? 

10 Sulh-i-kul means peace with all. 


had broadened his mind to a sufficient extent and 
traces of Persian influences on Akbar's later life 
were amply manifest. 

Along with his liberal political instinct and 
liberal Shia tendencies, the peculiar traits of saint 
worship and tomb pilgrimage, which characterise the 
Timurids and Mongols of Central Asia, 11 find their 
expression in Akbar. On the eve of the battle of 
Chittor, he promised a pilgrimage to the tomb of 
saint Ma'in-ud-din Chishti of Ajmer, should he be 
vouchsafed victory. 12 After the victory of Chittor, 
he actually walked a distance of 220 miles to fulfil 
his vow and to show his gratefulness to benign 
God and Saint. The mystic in Akbar would often 
compel him " to seek loneliness where he would 
chant for the whole night the praises of God," 
" Ya Hu," " Ya Hadi." 1 ' " By nature, Akbar was 
contemplative " ; in Badauni, we read of " the Em- 
peror sitting on a stone lost in meditation." Abul 
Fazl tells us that, once in 1557, Akbar " felt con- 
strained by the presence of a short-sighted man and 
began to chafe, he rode off and, dismounting, 
assumed the posture of communing with God." 
This was while Akbar was only 14 years old. In 
1561 , when he was aged about 20 only, he said, 
from the lack of spiritual provisions for the last 

11 Vide ante, Ch. II, pp. 36-37. 

12 Babar, on the eve of his battle with Rana Sang, asked his soldiers 
to make a vow with their hands on the Quran. 

13 Sufi mode of remembrance (Zikr). See ante, Chap. I, p. 22, and 
Badauni, Lowe, Vol. II. pp. 202-04. 


journey, my soul was seized with exceeding 
sorrow. " J1 This event occurred long before he 
came in contact with the Sufi brothers. In his 
element, his ever-expanding soul was ever crying 
for an expansion and enlargement. 

Akbar was 22 years of age when his twin sons, 
Hasan and Husain, died. He was anxious to 
have a son and paid visits to the shrines of saints 
at Ajmer and elsewhere, for the purpose. Salim 
Chishti, a saint at Fatehpur, blessed him and 
promised him one, and soon after his Hindu con- 
sort Jodhabai, daughter of Behari Mai, conceived. 
Akbar sent the imperial consort to the Khanqah 15 of 
Salim Chishti and placed her in the care of the saint 
where a male child was safely delivered. The child 
was named Salim after the name of the saint 
through whose grace the child was supposed to 
have seen the light. Soon after, another son was 
born at the house of saint Danyal and the child 
was named Danyal after him. 

In 1 571 , Akbar came to Sikri and stayed with 
Salim Chishti in his humble hamlet. He was so 
profoundly influenced by saint Salim that he re- 
solved to turn the humble hamlet into a celestial 
city immediately. Soon the place was examined 
by Akbar himself and the foundation was laid of 
Fatehpur ' ' a city as beautiful as dream and as 
woeful as its remains." In 1572, he went out 

14 Quoted in Islamic Review, 1927 by Menon. 

15 KVinnnaVi is a mnnatf^rv where a Sufi resides. 


for the conquest of Guzrat, and while at Cambay, 
received the Portuguese merchants who came 
to pay their respects to him. This personal acquain- 
tance with the Portuguese Christians produced 
immense consequences in future. 

But inspite of his innately wonderful mystic 
nature, inspite of his early liberal Shia influences, 
inspire of the comprehensiveness of his poli- 
tical attitude and inspite of the broad central 
Asian traits of his family, Akbar could hardly 
outgrow the circle of his orthodox Sunni sect that 
hovered round the royal court. Though Islam 
knows no state clergy formally, still the powers 
of the monarch having been confined within the 
limits of the Shariat, 10 he had to depend on the 
Ulama 11 for the administration of the state. 
These men had made almost a monopoly of some 
of the very big positions of the state, such as the 
Sadr, 18 Qazi, lJ Mir-adl 20 and Mufti, 21 who, by virtue 
of the very nature of their work, had to be recruited 
from the learned class, and learning in India was 
confined to Sunni theology. Bairam Khan, who was 
himself a Shia, had, during his regency, appointed 

16 Shariat means Islamic Sacred Law. 

17 Ulama means learned men. 

18 Sadr means the head of the religion in the court, something 
like the archbishop in Anglicanism 

19 Qazi means judge. 

20 Mir adl is a subordinate member of the Judiciary. 

21 Mufti means a thiological expert who explains Law. 


a Shia, Shaikh Gudai, 22 but he had to go along 
with Bairam Khan. 2:{ After a short term of office 
of Khawja Muhammad Qilha, Akbar appointed a 
new Sadr named Abdu-n Nabi. 

In his usual faith and devotedness, Akbar 
believed in the decisions and interpretations of 
the Sunni Sadr, Abdu-n Nabi. His reverence for 
the Sadr was unbounded, specially as Abdu-n Nabi 
had come from the family of the great lawgiver 
of Islam, Abu Hanifa, who was universally res- 
pected as the greatest of Muslim lawgivers. During 
the reign of Akbar, the Sadr ranked as the fourth 
officer 2I of the empire. " He was the highest law 
officer and had the powers which the administra- 
tor general has amongst us ; and was in charge of 
all lands devoted to ecclesiastical and benevolent 
purposes and possessed an unlimited power of 
conferring such lands independently of the King. 
He was also the highest law officer and might 
exercise the powers of the highest Inquisitor." 25 
The prestige of Abdu-n Nabi was much greater 

22 The Shia influence of Shaikh Gudai during the early years of 
Akbar's reign is an interesting study and may be profitably read in 

K Sadrs at the time of Akbar : la) Sheikh Gudai 968 AH, (b) 
Khawja Md.Qilah 971 A.M., (c) Shaikh Abdu-n Nabi 986 AH., (d) 
Sultan Khawja 993 A.H., \e) Amir Fatehulla Shhaji 997 A.H , (/) Sadr 
Jehan whose name coincides with the title, (g) Abdul Baqir, only 
mentioned by Abul Fazl but with no other details. 

24 The four officers are Vakil, Vizir, Bakshi and Sadr. 

2 5 Blochmann, p. 270 


than that of the other Sadrs of the Delhi Sultanate. 
He had been to Mecca several times and learnt 
the Hadis there. His knowledge of the folklore of 
Islam was great. He came to the office, after the 
bribery and corruption of the religious grants 
(" Aymas ") had been discovered, "to set things 
right." Gradually, Abdu-n Nabi acquired such 
absolute powers that he conferred on the deserving 
people a whole world of subsistence allowances, 
lands, pensions, so much so that if the bounty of all 
former kings of Hind were thrown into one scale and 
the liberality of this age into the other, yet this 
would preponderate." % And Akbar never grudg- 
ed the gifts of this Sadr. 

Akbar 's belief in him and reverence for him on 
grounds of religion gradually put the Sadr above 
law. From the point of view of Islam, nothing is 
purely religious and nothing is purely secular, and 
there is hardly any difference between religion and 
politics. This explains the absence of any parti- 
cular treatise on political philosophy, and the con- 
duct of the Prophet and revelations embodied in 
the Quran are guides for Islamic monarchs gene- 
rally. Being the guardian of the Shariat, the 
Sadr practically controlled the religio-political 
side of Islam. The reverence of Akbar for the 
Sadr was so great that he would bring him his 
shoes and place them before his feet. 27 

*6 Badauni, Lowe, Vol. H, p. 70. 
27 Badauni, Lowe, Vol. HI, p. 127, 

8 1280B 


Under the influence of Abdu-n Nabi, Akbar 
grew to be a very violent and orthodox Sunni. 
He even grew intolerant, giving orders for the mur- 
der of the unbelievers and the term " believer " 
was applied to those Muslims only who would follow 
the interpretations of Abdu-n Nabi and his party. 
At that time, Shaikh Mubarak of Nagor, 28 a free 
thinker and theologian, who was much influenced 
by the idea of the Millennium, excited the jealousy 
of the Sadr by his learning and prestige. The 
Sadr Abdu-n Nabi and Mukhdum-ul Mulk Abdulla 
Sultanpuri represented to Akbar that " Shaikh 
Mubarak belonged to the class of innovators and 
was not only himself damned but led others to 
damnation." At that time, it was customary to 
get hold of and kill such as tried to introduce inno- 
vations in religious matters ; witness the case of 
Mir Habsi and others. 20 "Having obtained a sort 
of permission to remove him," they sent police 
officers " to bring him before the Emperor." In 
their wrath, they polluted Mubarak's prayer room; 
they pulled down his house and burnt it ; not 
satisfied with this, they furrowed the plot of his 
homestead land and sowed seeds so that even the 
last remnant of the house was effaced. Saint Salim 
Chishti, when approached by Mubarak for shelter, 
found the Mulla party too strong and advised 
him to flee to Guzrat. Akbar, the faithful, would 

Father of Faizi and Abul Fazl. 
W Badauni, Lowe, Vol. II, p. 198. 


not oppose such ruthless punishment of the faith- 
less. Faith, of course, signified faith in Islam 
as interpreted by the Sunni Sadr and the Sunni 
Mufti. In pursuance of this extreme devotion and 
faith, he ordered many men, who held the Shia 
doctrine, to be killed ; and Badauni tells us that 
" owing to exertions of Mukhdum-ul Mulk Maulana 
Abdulla Sultanpuri, many heretics and schismatics 
went up to the place prepared for them.'* In 1 570, 
Mir Hakim Moqim of Isphahan and others were 
killed for being Shias. 30 Maulana Abdulla could 
not brook anything non-Sunni. His tyranny did 
not spare even inanimate books. Badauni 3i narrates 
an occasion when his friends congratulated him 
on his narrow escape from death because he had 
expressed an opinion in favour of a book Rawatu-i- 
Akab, which was looked down upon by Mukhdum- 
ul Mulk. Abdulla was interdicted as a bigoted 
Sunni even by an orthodox Mulla like Badauni. 

During this period, in some instances, religious 
considerations weighed with Akbar even in 
political matters. On one occasion, his faith in and 
reverence for the Prophet and his family grew so 
great that he did not kill Muhammad Mirak of 
Mashad who had rebelled along with Khan 
Zaman, for Mirak was a Say id; but Khan 
Zaman was killed. 32 The faithful now used to 

30 Ibid., p. 128. 

31 Badauni, original, p. 70. 

32 According to Smith the revolt of Khan Zaman was in 1667, 
Akbar, p. 80. 


visit the tomb at Ajmer every year ; the new capi- 
tal grew round the humble hamlet of Salim 
Chishti ; Akbar swept the dust of the mosque of 
Salim. 88 

By this time, Akbar had successfully checked 
the insubordinate Afghans, unruly Turki followers 
and rebellious Mirzas. The Hindus had been 
humbled, some had been transformed into friends, 
others matrimonially trapped. Every year, news 
of success was pouring in from all s ;side 
the country was relieved of the uncertainty from 
which she had been suffering since 1526. Now 
journeys were safe, and commerce was established. 
Hindustan became a safe home for many who 
found the sternness of the Ottoman empire, the in- 
tolerance of the Persian monarchs or the insecurity 
of the trans-Hindukush provinces too hot for them. 
The orthodox sects of Islam found in Akbar a 
great patron as the government was being run on 
purely Sunni lines by Abdu-n Nabi and Abdulla 
Sultanpuri. No doubt the country was conquered 
by the sword of Akbar and kept by his diplomacy, 
still the Mullas carried on the government by their 
interpretation of the laws. As a sincere and 
devout Muslim, Akbar would not grudge the 
Mullas their age-long privileges, in the state. 
Power is a jealous master, it tolerates no rival; 
specially, power concentrated on the sanction of 
religion is a dangerous thing, it is more often 

33 Darbar-i-Akbar, p. 36. 


abused than not. The Mullas often stepped 
beyond the limits of their authority and did things / 
which were highly offensive from the state point of 

Along with the expansion of his dominions 
Akbar was making a settlement of the lands. 
In connection with this work, he made enquiries 
into the Sayurgal lands. 31 He found that all the 
Sadrs had been guilty of bribery and corruption. 
It has already been observed that Shaikh Abdu-n 
Nabi was put in charge of this important office ' ' to 
set things right." The firman granting land was 
often ambiguously .worded and the firman-holder 
took as much land as he could and kept it as long 
as he was able to open his private purse to the 
Qazis and provincial Sadrs. After repeated en- 
quiries Akbar found that the malpractices were uni- 
versal. He, therefore, took away the lands from 
the Afghans and Choudhuris, transformed them 
into Crown lands and placed the rest at the hands 
of the Sadr for enquiry and disposal. Every one 
who held more than 500 Bighas, was asked to prove 
his title, in default of which he was to lose the lands; 
a general order was issued that " the excess of all 
lands above one hundred bighas should be reduced 
to two-fifth of it ; three-fifths of it should be annexed 
to domain lands." In no time this was to embroil 

34 Sayurghal is a Turki word ; it refers to land granted for main- 
tenance. Commonly, it is known as Madad-i-ma'ash. It differs from 
Jagir, for it is not in lieu of service, as Jagir is. 


Akbar in a serious rebellion 35 ; the disgruntled 
Choudhuris now combined with the Mullas ; to a 
war born of politics was added a war born of 

As he proceeded with the business of settle- 
ments of the newly acquired territories, Akbar 
discovered that the Qazis used to take bribes from 
grant-holders, and after examining the whole 
matter, he dismissed many Qazis. The charge 
of Badauni that it was out of hatred against the 
Mullas that Akbar dismissed them, is not borne 
out by facts ; the step was taken from a purely 
financial point of view. As he made no dis- 
ftinction of religious beliefs in the recruitment of 
public officials generally, he made no difference 
in the punishment, if they were found guilty. If 
/the Qazis were found guilty, he would not spare 

Now Akbar ordered that the Qazis should 
not let off Aymas unless the firmans were placed 
before the Sadr for inspection and verification. 
For this reason, a large number of Aymadars came 
to the court from all parts of Hindustan, to place 
their firmans before the Sadr. If one could 
produce recommendations from any important 
official or grandee of the court, he was saved ; 
but men without sufficient backing had to bribe 
Abdu-r Rasul, the personal assistant of the Sadr. 
There are instances that even the Mehtars (sweep- 

36 Blochmann, p. 269. 


ers), Faraschis (steward) and Syces (grooms) had 
their shares of the bribe. If the bribe fell below 
expectations, or if there were no recommendations, 
one had no chance of having one's "Ay mas" 
confirmed. But no one dared complain against 
the Sadr, for Akbar 's faith in him was uni- 
versally known. " The insolence of the Sadr went 
so far that, even in the state hall, just before the 
*Oju,' 36 he purposely spilt water on the grandees 
standing near him, only to display the wide and un- 
controlled powers he possessed." 37 Even Badauni, 
a staunch supporter of Mullas, tells us that he 
was forbidden by his friend Mir Sayid Muhammad 
Amboa from entering into service under the Sadrs 
or from accepting any Madad-i-ma'ash. Badauni 
silently made a reference to his sufferings for not 
acting up to the advice of Mir Adil Amboa. 38 

After the conquest of the four great fortresses of 
Mirth, Chittor, Ranthambar and Kalanjar, an invita- 
tion from Itmad Khan reached Akbar for putting an 
end to the prevailing anarchy in Guzrat. Over and 
above the consideration of the great wealth of Guzrat, 
and of her commerce, what attracted Akbar was its 
geographical situation. It was there that the ships 
for pilgrimage 89 to Mecca and Medina anchored. 

36 Ablution before prayer. 

37 Ain-i-Akbari, Blochmann, p. 269. 

38 Badauni, Lowe, Vol. Ill, p. 121. Mir Sayid Muhammad said 
that the Sadrs were tyrannical egotists. 

39 Jahaj-i-Ilahi 100 ships. Sher Shah's pilgrim ships numbered 
fifty only. 


During his Guzrat expedition, Akbar made acquaint- 
ance with Portuguese Christians which was after- 
wards to develop into something very obnoxious to 
the Mullas. In this war the Hindu Raja Bhagwan 
Das and his adopted son, Man Singh, distinguished 
themselves so much that the unprecedented honour 
of a banner and kettledrums was for the first time 
conferred on Bhagwan Das indeed an honour which 
was never conferred on any but a royal Chogtai 
of Timur's family and not even on the most 
honourable families of the Muslim grandees. By 
now, Surat was conquered by Todar Mai. By the 
third of June, 1 573, the Emperor returned to Fateh- 
pur by way of Ajmer. 

Smith has made a very significant suggestion 
that many notable persons came to offer felicitations 
to Akbar on his success in Guzrat and one of them 
was Shaikh Mubarak, who made a significant speech 
expressing the hope that the Emperor might become 
spiritual as well as a temporal leader of the people; 
:he suggestion pleased Akbar who bore it in his mind 
and acted on it six years later (1579). The entiire 
theory of Smith regarding Akbar 's religious 
views rests on the assumption that from the very 
beginning Akbar had a mind to combine ' the roles 
of the Caesar and the Pope into one ' and that the 
speech of the much persecuted Mubarak only put 
the idea into a definite form. In pursuance of 
this hint at spiritual dignity, Akbar along with 
Mubarak worked up silently for six years (1573-79) 


with that definite end in view. This ultimately 
led to the issue of what has been called " the 
Infallibility Decree " (Mahzar) of 1 579, which Smith 
makes so much of and which, according to him, 
ended in a " complete renunciation of Islam." 40 But 
in reality the " Infallibility Decree " was dictated by 
political reasons more than anything else. Religion 
had indeed very little to do with its origination. 

Akbar never had any intention of giving up his 
religion or of posing as a prophet. Mubarak's 
speech was only in the usual language of Persian 
hyperbole. " Mubarak," says Smith, ** came only 
to offer felicitations ' M1 to Akbar on his Guzrat 
conquest. But Hosain Azad says that Mubarak 
came 'for some other purpose/ 12 

Akbar was back to the capital, and amongst 
others Mubarak went to offer greetings to him, for 
by that time, through the intervention of Mirza Aziz 
Koka, they had been reconciled. In the mean time, 
Faizi also had won a place in Akbar 's court by his 
literary attainments. Abul Fazl had been introduc- 
ed to court in I 572. Akbar was a lover of merit, 
and he did not fail to mark the literary attainments 
of the family. Even supposing that the words used 
by Mubarak were not a part of the customary 
addresses given by welcome-bidders, if we take the 

40 Smith is very definite that Akbar renounced Islam. But our 
conclusions are otherwise. The text from which Smith quoted has 
been misread by him. E. I. Association Journal, 1915. 

41 Smith. Akbar, p. 76. Darbar-i-Akbar, p. 76. 

9 1280B 


whole address of Mubarak, we may interpret it other- 
wise. The word used is " Mujtahid " (^V*). 
Does that mean spiritual headship or was it that the 
Jam'at before him being ignorant of the Sacred Law, 
Akbar was asked to give his decision ? This speech 
had absolutely no connection whatsoever with the 
"Mahzar " of 1579. Smith's translation of the 
" Mahzar " as the " Infallibility Decree " is wrong. 48 
Buckler was right while Smith was wrong ; 
Buckler's conclusion is that the " Mahzar " was a 
political document. 

After the conquest of Guzrat, during the years 
1 573-74, the system of administration was definitely 
shaped. A very important part of this system 
included the branding of horses/ 4 opening of 
registers of royal soldiers under Amirs and 
Jagirdars, and conversion of confiscated lands into 
Crown lands. 45 

About this time, Suleiman Kararani of Bengal 
died and was succeeded by his imperious son, Daud 

43 See Buckler's Leceister University Lecture, 1924 Mahzar means 
pronouncement, opinion, declaration ; secondarily, petition. 

H Branding of horses is very interesting. Lands were granted to 
Jagirdars and Amirs for keeping regular horses and soldiers in different 
parts of the empire. Instead of keeping soldiers and horses, they often 
produced, when requ'ied, untrained and stray horses as loyal horses 
and low class street men as royal soldiers. In order to stop this fraud, 
regular registers of soldiers, with their fathers' names and addresses, 
were introduced. Horses were branded with the royal mark on the 
forehead. This caused a good deal of discontent amongst those whose 
fraud was thus stopped. 

Ain-i-Akbari, Blochmann, p. 269. 


Khan Kararani. Daud at once renounced the nomi- 
nal allegiance to the Imperial Court and assumed 
royal dignity, had the Khutba read in his name, 
issued coins and seized the Imperial outpost at Zamani 
in the Gazipur district . Akbar personally proceeded to 
meet the enemy. The story of his conquest of Guzrat 
was repeated. Along with the expansion of Akbar 's 
dominions in the east his vision also expanded. He 
heard that Suleiman Kararani used to offer prayers 
every night in company with some 1 50 persons con- 
sisting of the renowned Shaikhs and Ulama, and used 
to remain in their company till the morning, listening 
to their commentaries and exhortations. After 
morning prayers, he would occupy himself in state 
business and the affairs of the army and of his sub- 
jects ; and that ' he had his appointed time for every- 
thing and never broke through this good rule/ 4G 
In his natural spirit of unbounded devotion, Akbar 
tried to imitate Suleiman in his way of offering 
prayers. And he ordered that " the cell of Shaikh 
Abdulla Nyazi Sarhindi be repaired, and (he) built a 
spacious hall on all four sides of it." He also 
finished the construction of Anuptalao. 47 He named 
ihe hall the Ibadat Khana. 48 

46 Badauni, Vol. II, p. 203. 

47 The writer went to Fatehpur to have local knowledge of the facts. 
There are so many stories and gossips current regarding Anuptalao 
that it is nof possible to tell which of them represents the real truth. 

48 Ibadat Khana Worship Hall, vide Badauni, Vol. II, p. 204; not 
Iradat Khana (Hall of Desire), as some suggested sarcastically, nor lyadat 
Khana (Hall of Sickness and Sympathy). 


Just at that time Akbar learnt that his cousin 
Mirza Suleiman of Badakhshan was arriving in 
India. He was a great Sufi and was supposed to 
have reached the stage of Sahib-i-Hal (J^ v-^l/). 
It was in this hall of worship that he arranged for 
the reception of his distinguished cousin. On Friday, 
he used to go to the new Chapel and hold meetings 
in the Ibadat Khana. It was a custom in mosques to 
have a Jam'at on Fridays when, after the prayer had 
been said, the learned Shaikhs would discuss and 
give instruction in the words of God and in Tradition. 
That the motive behind the construction of the 
Ibadat Khana was purely religious, is proved by 
the fact that it was open to followers of Islam only, 
and amongst them admission was restricted to 
the Shaikhs, Say ids, Ulama and Amirs in the 
beginning. The example of Suleiman Kararani, 
the reception of Mirza Suleiman of Badakhshan, 
the reverence and gratitude for Him that gave him 
victories, the idea of turning the Khanqah of the 
Niyazi Sarhindi who had * joined the circle of 
Mahadeva,' were the forces behind the construction 
of the Ibadat Khana. The general notion of unsus- 
pecting readers is that he built a hall for discussion, 
and that it was in this hall that the two Sufi brothers 
manufactured the famous Din-i-Ilahi. The condi- 
tion of the mind of Akbar in this period of his 
life is excellently painted by Badauni. " For many 
years previously," says Badauni, " the Emperor 
gained in succession remarkable and decisive 


victories. The Empire grew in extent day by day ; 
everything turned out well and no opponent was 
' left in the world ' (kingdom). His majesty had 
leisure to come into nearer contact with ascetics and 
[the late] Mu'in and he passed much of his 
time in discussing the word of God and the word 
of the Prophet. Questions of Sufism and scientific 
discussions, enquiries into the Philosophy and 
Law, were the order of the day. His majesty 
spent whole nights in praising God ; he continually 
occupied himself in pronouncing Ya Huwa and 
Ya Hadi 49 in which he was well versed. His 
heart was full of reverence for Him Who is the 
True Giver, from a feeling of thankfulness for his 
past successes, he would sit many a morning 
alone in prayer and meditation on a large flat 
stone of an old building which lay near the palace 
in a lonely spot, with his head bent on the chest, 
gathering the bliss of the early hours of dawn." In 
short, it is true that when he built the Ibadat Khana, 
he was a deeply devout man but ultimately strayed 
away from the Path ; and may we ask the reason 
why ? 

49 ' Ya Hu ' and ' Ya Hadi * are the usual forms of Zikr of a Sufi, 
Vide ante, Chapter I, pp. 21-23; Badauni, Vol. II, p. 203. 


The Ibadat Khana ] was a building raised on an 
abandoned and dilapidated cell of Sheikh Abdulla 
Nyazi of Sarhind. He had been formerly a disciple 
of Islam Chishti but ultimately he fell back from 
Islam and became attached to * the circle of Maha- 
deva.' 2 A local investigation at Fatehpur Sikri 
has failed to discover the site of the building and 
numerous gossips natural in the midst of ' the woeful 
remains of the city of dreams ' have served to hide 
the real truth in deeper and deeper folds. From 
the stray references collected from Faizi, Abul Fazl, 
Abdul Qadir and others, it may be confidently 

1 The historical precedents of the Ibadat Khana :-- 

(a^ Indian religious councils of Asok, Kanishka and Harsha. 

(b) Chinese council of Tai-sing (7th c -ntury A.D ) weighed the 
respective merits of Nestorian Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and 

(c) Kubbi Khan's (13th century A.D. i famous council of Pekin,, 
already referred to (Chapter II, pp. 30-31). 

(d) Sikandar Lodi's council (Tarikh-i-Daudi, p. 445; E. & D., 
Vol. IV). 

(c) Sulairnan Kararani's council of 150 (Bad., II, p. 203) 
There is always an idea of Jam 'at (assembly) in Islam after every 
Friday prayer. Debates similar to those held in the Ibadat Khana were 
also held in the time of Jehangir; the Royal Library of Paris contains the 
proceedings of these debates amongst the documents presented by Cornel 
Gentil Memoires de literature academic royal des inscriptions et Belles 
Letters, Vol. XLIX, 1808, p. 716, No. 89 and p. 71 1, No, 18. 
Bad.. II, p. 204. 

The Plan of the Ibadat Khana 1575 A. D. 



Abul Fazal 


[To face f, 70. 


asserted that the Ibadat Khana was a sufficiently 
large building, rectangular in shape, which could 
accommodate at least 500 men. It had plenty of 
rooms and balconies. There were halls on all 
sides and the rooms were separated from one 
another by means of screens, tapestry and railings. 
Possibly its situation was near the Royal Palace, if 
not inside the palace garden. The situation of 
the Anuptalao, that mysterious pond, which even 
now exists inside the palace of Sikri and the frequent 
mention of the Ibadat Khana along with it, point 
to the fact that the Ibadat Khana was situated not 
far from it. The idea of the building can be recon- 
structed with the help of references in the Munta- 
khabut Tawarikh. 3 In the centre of the Hall was an 
octagonal platform on which the Emperor had his 
seat. The four ministers Abdur Rahim, Birbal, 
Faizi and Abul Fazl each had his station in a differ- 
ent corner. Every Thursday 4 night, the Hall would 
be open to the Jam'at (assembly) that attended the 
royal prayer. Extra meetings were held on special 
occasions. A special meeting was called to offer 
a reception to Maulana Zia Ulla. 5 During this 
period, Akbar stood head and shoulders deep 

3 Consult J.R.A.S., 1917, article by Smith. The assignment of 
places to different classes of people came after the quarrel of the Mullas 
for position. A few more minor details regarding the Ibadat Khana have 
been published by Father Heras in the Journal of Indian History, 
Vol. VI, 1924, p. 5. 

* Muslims reckon their days according to Lunar calculation. So 
Friday begins after sunset on Christian Thursday. 

5 Bad., II, p. 204. 


in religion, so says Badauni. fi He was passing 
through a period of extreme religious susceptibility. 
Since the birth of Salim. the Khanqah of Salim 
Chishi had become his favourite haunt. At differ- 
ent hours of the day, he used to spend his time in 
deep meditation in a small hut close to his place 
and count beads in the manner of a Sufi. Even 
in ordinary conversation, he used to talk on 
God, on Piety, on Law and on Etiquette. 
Every night he used to converse with the Ulama 
and Shaikhs on those topics. For some months 
of the year 1575-76, " Akbar," says Badauni, 
observed silence having stopped all egress and 
ingress in the face of mankind that he might 
practise the retirement of a monastic solitude 
in his own garden." 7 After the construction 
of the Ibadat Khana he became absorbed in the 
attempt to find a way to God. 

Every Thursday night, the Ibadat Khana was 
decorated with flowers and vases, sweet scents were 

6 Badauni, II, pp. 203*04. There are also instances of these reli- 
gious discussions outside the Hall of Worship. The Bharat ItihasL 
Samshodhak Mandal, Poona, has got three paintings illustrating the 
religious discussions with the doctors of different faiths These pictures 
are claimed to be genuine and were taken from Agra by the 
Marathas Rev. Heras has published a fine though slightly inaccurate 
account about the personnel of the doctor-? of faiths present, in the 
Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1928. The 
place of discussion in one of these pictures was a beautiful ridge on 
the hillock of Fatehpur Sikri a lovely spot overlooking the vast blue 
expanse, quite in keeping with the ever-expanding mind of the great 

convener. See post, Appendix B to Chapter IV. 

7 Badauni. II, p. 203. 


strewn and incense burnt. Money was distributed 
to the learned and to the deserving. There was 
a library inside the Hall and it is known that 
after the conquest of Guzrat, the library of Itimad 
Khan had been kept in the Ibadat Khana. 

Nizamuddin and Badauni 8 tell us that Shaikhs, 
Ulama, pious men and a few of Akbar's compa- 
nions were the only people who were allowed to 
attend the Ibadat Khana discussions. These were on 
all kinds of instructive and useful topics. " Assem- 
blies went on well for a time but soon a quarrel arose 
about the seats and order of precedence."' 1 The 
quarrel for precedence became so vehement that "the 
Emperor was obliged to assign seats in the Ibadat 
Khana himself." '* His Majesty ordered that the 
Amirs should sit on the east side, the Say ids on 
the west, the Ulama on the south and the Shaikhs 
on the north." This did not put a stop to the 
quarrels which sometimes ended very disreputably. 
Badauni relates that on one occasion, owing to 
the behaviour of the Ulama, such a horrid noise and 
confusion had arisen that His Majesty got angry 
and directed Badauni, " in future to report any 
Ulama who talked nonsense and could not behave 
themselves properly so that the Emperor might 
make them leave the hall/ Immediately 
Badauni whispered to Asaf Khan who was sitting 

8 Badauni, II, p. 204; Darbar-i-Akbar, p 81, gives a fine description 
of the Ibadat Khana; Akbarnama, III, p. 159; E. & D., Vol. V, p. 309. 

9 Bad., II, p. 205. 



by his side, " If I carried out his order, most of 
the Ulama would have to leave the Hall." 10 

Akbar wanted to have a good commentary on 
the Quran and an order was given accordingly. 
A great quarrel arose over interpretations. 11 Each 
Maulana would claim authenticity for his Dalil 
(references) which others would not accept ; there 
were hundreds of such Dalils with all their 
differences in meaning and authenticity. The 
acceptance or rejection of an authority standing 
on tradition was more or less a question of belief. 
Naturally, the scope of differences, resting on 
beliefs and disbeliefs, was very wide. The 
training which an Islamic mind gets is a training 
in imperative commands. Therefore the Mullas 
were dogmatic and intolerant of other men's 
opinions. Moreover the Mullas of the court would 
not generally accept any versions and interpretations 
but their own, for fear of losing their prestige; they 
would discuss not in the spirit of a search after truth 
but in quest of victory. So, more of ten than not the 

U Badauni, II, p. 205. 

11 When the revelations were made to the Prophet, they were 
written down on leaves, leather and 'stone. Hence was the difficulty of 
collection ; specially many of the reciters were killed at the battle of Badr. 
Arabic is a difficult language in which dots play a very prominent part. 
So any change or displacement of a dot, made consciously or uncon- 
sciously, makes a world of difference in the interpretations. This ac- 
counted for the existence of various interpretations and consequently 
of some textual difference at the outset. By the time of Osman, copies 
of the Quran in its present form were distributed in public. Pyam-i- 
Amin by Abdulla Minhas ; Muslim Thought and its Source by S. M. 
Nadvi.pp. 17-18. 


discussions were characterised by bitterness on all 
sides. The Maulanas went so far as to use their 
hands when tongue and logic failed to decide the 
issue. The guardians of the Faith, Mukhdum-ul- 
Mulk Maulana Abdulla Sultanpuri and Sadr-us- 
Sudur Abdu-n Nabi, were the leaders in such 
discussions. And they assumed, by virtue of their 
position, almost an air of infallibility which was 
disgusting to many. What Akbar could least 
tolerate, was pride and conceit, and, most of 
all, pride of learning. Against the usual and 
dogmatic assertions of the Sadr and Mukhdum, 
Akbar used to set up learned scholars ' to break 
their pride.' Abul Fazl, brother of Faizi and son 
of Mubarak, had made his way into the court by 
presenting Ayat-ul-Kursi, a commentary on the 
Quran. 12 He was chosen to refute the arguments 
of the Mullas ; Haji Ibrahim and Badauni also 
have been mentioned in the role of disputants 
against the Mullas on certain occasions. 

In course of the debates, personal feeling often 
ran high ; one day Khan Jalan told the assembly 
that Abdulla Sultanpuri had given a Fatwah 13 
against pilgrimage and would not himself go to 
Mecca on flimsy grounds. A charge brought 
against the Maulana was that he used to avoid 
the payment of the legal alms (Zakat) due upon 
his wealth. Towards the end of each year he 

w Badauni suggests that Ayat-ul-Kursi was written by Abul Fazl's 
father Mubarak. Bad., II. p. 201. 
" Badauni, II, p. 206. 


used to make over all his property to his wife 
but before the year had run out, he would take it 
back again. 14 

The Mukhdujn-ul-Mulk had been found assail- 
able. " His villainy, sordid disposition, contempt- 
ible conduct," as Badauni puts it, " were found 
out." After the disgrace of Abdulla Sultanpuri, 
the position of Abdu-n Nabi became unrivalled. 
Akbar's reverence for the Sadr was almost a proverb. 
He used to go to the Sadr's house in order to listen 
to his lectures on Tradition and stood barefooted 
before him. Even Prince Salim was made to attend 
his school to learn Forty Ahadis. He was already 
in charge of the distribution of the " Aymas " and 
religious grants. 

By that time, the Bengal war was over. In 
1576-77, Akbar went on pilgrimage to Ajmer ; 
he reached there on the anniversary of the Saint. 
Akbar performed his usual circuit and visit, 
recited the Verses, offered prayers and sat in 
meditation. He paid the entire expenses of the 
caravan that was to start for the Haj and supplied 
them with articles for the journey. Further he 
issued a general order that every pilgrim would 
get his expenses from the state-treasury. A new 
department, called the Haj department, was opened 

14 " Alms are due on every surplus stock or store which a Sunni 
possesses at the end of the year, provided that the surplus has been in pos- 
session for a whole year If the wife, therefore, had the surplus for a 
part of the year and the husband afterwards took it back, he escaped 
the paying of alms." Blochmann, p. 173, note. 


in the year 983 A.H. (1576-77 A.D.), over which 
he appointed a superintendent called Mir Haji. 
To this post, he appointed one Khawja of Ajmer 
family. " Six lacs of rupees in cash and kind, 
twelve hundred dresses and numerous presents 
were distributed at Mecca and Medina." 15 He 
even offered jewelled dresses for the nobe-1 
men of Mecca, and gave orders for the building 
of a Khanqah for the use of the pilgrims from 
Hindustan. His state duties would not permit him 
to visit Mecca though he had a mind to do so. 16 
He followed the caravan bound for Mecca and 
clothed himself with the dress of a Haji *' half 
piece worn and half piece turbanned, without 
shoes/' reciting the verses of Quran 17 : 

1 I am present, I am present, 
There is no God but God/ 

He had a fleet prepared called Jahaj-i-Ilahi 
consisting of one hundred ships. 18 Then he gave 

15 Badauni, II, p. 246; Akbarnama, III, p. 271. 

t 16 For a king, the pilgrimage is not incumbent not ' faraz. 
It is significant that no Muslim Sultan in India ever went on 
pilgrimage to Mecca. When the state duties of Akbar would no 
longer permit him to make these pilgrimages to Ajmer, " he used 
to entrust this task to one of his sons till the end of his life." 
Vide Agra Gazetteer by Nevill, p. 147. J&j ^ (Haj by a substitute) 
is allowed by the Hadis. 

W The usual cry of the pilgrim is .. -xJ ^AJJI. Possibly 
Lowe makes a mistake in his notes when he says that people did not like 
Akbar to go to Mecca for fear of losing him ; the original Persian text 
does not bear out this suggestion. 

U Sher Shah's fleet consisted of 50 ships. 


a general order that anybody might go on pilgrim- 
age and that the Government would bear his ex- 
penses. This system continued for six years and 
was stopped only when Akbar found that the money 
taken from the treasury, on the pretext of the Hajis' 
expenditure, had been utilised by the Mir-i-Haj 
(the Superintendent of Pilgrims) for his own 

During this period, the administrative system 
of the Empire had been remodelled. After the 
discovery of the corruptions of Qazis in the settle- 
ment of lands, the duty was transferred to a new 
band of officers called Karoris. We have seen 
in our last chapter how, in course of the distribution 
of lands, the Sadr-us-Sudur, Abdu-n Nabi, had lost 
his balance of mind and temper and muddled 
the whole affair. The discovery of the villainy 
of the Chief Qazi and the mismanagement of 
" Sayurghal " lands by the Chief (Sadr) of the state, 
Abdu-n Nabi, did a great deal to bring discredit 
on the theocratic side of the state. Still Akbar 
could not outgrow their influence and issued 
orders to settle the terms of the Jezia on non- 
Musalmans as the period of temporary remission 
had already expired. 19 Jezia had been stopped 
in 1565, temporarily for ten years, and was now 
sought to be revived. 

During this period, a discussion on the question 

W Badauni, II, p. 284. Final abolition of Jezia was in 1579-80. 
Bad., II, p. 284. 


of marriage in Islam cropped up ; its nature, extent 
and validity formed quite a volume in Islamic 
literature. Akbar was personally interested in the 
matter, so it received more than the usual attention 
in the Ibadat Khana. As a strict Muslim, Akbar 
could not legitimately have more than four wives but 
actually his harem contained a large number of 
ladies from all parts of India as well as from out- 
side. According to Imam Malik, the Chief Mulla 
gave a Fatwah that by Mu'tah (not by Niqah)aman 
might marry any number of wives he pleased; when 
the point was thrashed out to a nicety, the posi- 
tion of the Chief Mulla was found to be untenable 
and he withdrew his previous sanction by camou- 
flage. " This annoyed His Majesty very much," 
so remarks Badauni. The discussion gradually 
took a serious turn ; and it was proved that deci- 
sions formerly given by the Mukhdum were not 
from thstandpoint of law but from motives of 
pleasing the Master. As a result of the dicussion 
Qazi Vakub was suspended and Qazi Husain 
Arab Maliki was appointed in his place. This 
was, it is worth mention, the first direct Shia 
appointment in the Qazi department. Mukhdum 
was a great loser by this affair (1576-77) ; Maulana 
Jalauddin of Multan, then at Agra, was appointed 
at Fatehpur Sikri and Yakub was sent to Gaur 
as a mere district Qazi. 20 Badauni suggests that 

20 Badauni gives a good description of these discussions in his 
Munta-khabut Tawarikh, Vol. II, pp. 21 1-15. 


from this forward the road to opposition and 
difference in opinion lay open, and remained so 
till Akbar was appointed Mujtahid of the Empire." 
During these discussions, Akbar was profoundly 
upset by the diversity of Traditions and by the 
decrees of the Sunni lawyers ; the very same 
thing decreed by one is refuted by another, and 
the refutation is so strong and emphatic that the 
observance of it amounts almost to non-belief and 
consequently to eternal damnation, for Islam knows 
no alternative between belief and non-belief. So, 
he wanted to know what the other sects of Islam had 
to say in the matter. He held informal discussions 
with doctors of other sects and ultimately he laid 
the Ibadat Khana open to the Shias, Mehdists 
and other sects* The protagonists of the different 
schools in Islam began to tear each other with 
their fine-spun lore of traditions and decisions. 
The Shias were no less orthodox in their opinion 
than the Sunnis. The vile reproaches and obnoxi- 
ous epithets with which the Shias uttered the 
names of the heroes of the Sunnis were really 
painful to a believer of the Sunni sect. The 
Sunnis again answered the charges of the Shias in 
terms which were no less strong and disreputable. 21 
Everybody had his authority and every body i 
claimed the same authority for himself. Naturally,! 

21 Dabistan gives a full description of the SHia-Sunni disputes that 
took place in the Ibadat Khana. The Tabarra and Modhe-Sahaba 
controversy may be referred to. 


therefore, the different traditions on which the 
Ulama based their conclusions, were first to be 
verified, and then authenticated before they could 
be cited. It was then that the comparative merits 
of the authors of the traditions were to be judged 
and could be finally accepted. Thus in finding 
out the truth, many unpleasant and undignified 
things were told, to the disgust and annoyance of 
this or that party. Even the Sahabis and the 
companions of the Prophet, their actions, the very 
lives of prophets were subjected to discussion 
and criticism. Mohsin Fani 22 gives a list of subjects 
that were discussed in the Ibadat Khana. They 
were : 

1 . Tradition of the camel straying out. 23 
2 . Ascent upon the caravan of the Quraish in the 
beginning of the HJjra era. L>4 3. Demanding nine 
wives. 25 4. Separation of women from their hus- 
bands. 26 5. The companions giving up the body. 27 

6. The appointment of the first three Khalifas. 28 

7. The affair of Fadk. 29 8. War of Siffin. 80 

22 Dabistan, Vol. I, p. 99. 

23 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 100, Footnote 1. 
Ibid , Vol. II, p. 100. Footnote 2 

25 Ibid., Vol. Ill, p. 79. 

26 Ibid.. Vol III, p. 59, Footnote I. 

27 Ibid.. Vol. Ill, p. 99. 

Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 99-100, Footnote I. 

29 Ibid . Vol. I, p. 51, Footnote 2. 

*o Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp/59-60, Footnote 2 



Now the ever-expanding mind of Akbar was 
no longer satisfied within the limits of only a 
sectarian creed. In that age of scholasticism, the 
scholars raised the sleeping doubts the why and 
wherefore of everything in the minds of that 
Representative of the age of Renaissance. The 
veil of belief that had so long enveloped the mind 
of Akbar was now ruthlessly torn asunder by 
the lovers of the Faith themselves and the sun of 
intellect began to radiate his luminous horizon. And 
the Ibadat Khana was no longer confined within the 
order of Islam . The Ibadat Khana which began as 
a Sunni assembly and, which after the discussion of 
the marriage questions, became a pan-Muslim assem- 
bly, now passed on to the third stage, when it was 
opened to the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Zoroastrians, 
Buddhists, Jews and Christians. 31 In fact, Fateh- 
pur, for about four years, remained, for all practical 
purposes, the seat of the first great parliament of 
religions of the world. n2 In this, Akbar only imitat- 
ed what was done by his great ancestor, Qubli 
Khan, in China ten three hundred and years 
before. 33 The difference was only in degree but not 
in kind. 

At about this time, in 1576-77, a very import- 
ant event occurred outside India which was of con- 
siderable importance to the triangular relations of 

31 A description of their debates is given in Mohsin Fani. 
31 Felix Vayle/Jslamic Culture, 1930 
33 See ante, Chap.. II, pp. 29-30, 


the three Muslim Empires of the East the 
Timurid Empire of Hindustan, the Shia Empire 
of Iran and the Khelafat of Rum. The great 
Shah Tahmasp of Persia was murdered in 1 576 
and Akbar began to breathe freely. The irksome 
pretensions of the Shia supremacy over Babar and 
Humayun were not unknown to Akbar. Even 
during the time of Akbar, the pretensions continued 
in some form or other. The Shahs of Persia were 
never at ease at the growth of so important an 
empire on the border, specially when the ancestors 
of the builder of that empire had been their 
vassals. But Shah Tahmasp knew that Akbar J s 
position was much more secure than that of 
his grandfather at Samarkand or of his father 
in Kabul, Qandahar or Hindustan. Both sides 
waited for an opportunity, and it came to Akbar 
with the murder of the Shah. But the position was 

critical from the diplomatic point of view; even if 

Akbar were to declare himself outside the Shia fold, 
he would automatically fall into the grasp of the 
Khalifa of Rum, for it was just as it had been in the 
1 5th-century Europe when all Christian monarchs 
were automatically under the religious suzerainty 
of the Pope, all followers of Islam (except the Shias 
who think that the Khelafat is vacant) in any 
part of the world are under the Khalifa. Already 
in 1557, Sultan Suleiman had correspondence with 
Akbar by which he attempted to establish relations 
with the Ottoman court through the Turkish admi- 


ral Sidi Ali Katibi. 84 Therefore, before Akbar 
would take the final step of absolving himself 
from the Shia allegiance, he wanted to fortify his 
position aginst the Khelafat pretensions ; otherwise 
it might be for him merely a change from the Shia 
to the Sunni fold, a change not altogether for the 
better. So, in June, 1579, he had the Khutba read 
in his own name as was done by his great ancestors, 
Timur, Mirza Ulag Beg and Babar by which 
they put themselves beyond the Sunni Khelafat 
pretensions. He adopted the title of Khalifa-uz- 
Zaman and Amir-ul-Muminin and styled his 
capital as Dar-ul-Khelafat (abode of the Khalifa)^ 
His coins bore the inscription " the great Sultan, 
the exalted Khalifa/' Within three months after 
the Khutba was recited in his name, he indirectly 
had the Ulama of the state to authorise him to 
take the final step of declaring himself outside the 
pretensions of the Shia suzerainty of Persia. Of 
course, Akbar could have done this without the 
authority of the Ulama, but he did it only with a 
view to lessening the opposition, if any, from the 
Indian Shias, just as the Tudors took the 
help of the English Parliament, not because they 
were weak, nor because they feared the Parlia- 
ment, but because Parliamentary sanction would 
fortify their position even against the Catholics 
who owed religious allegiance to the Pope. 
Akbar 's court was at that time full of Shias who 

'" Arnold, Tnc Caliphate, pp. 113-14. 


owed primary allegiance to the Shia Shah of 
Persia. Therefore, the sanction of the Ulama of 
the court, who were both Shias and Sunnisat that 
time, minimised the chances of internal opposition. 
The document by which Akbar gained that diplo- 
matic victory was known as the Mahzar, which 
Smith erroneously translates as the " Infallibility 
Decree." But, judged in the light of other 
authentic facts, the Mahzar was much more political 
than not and should be treated as such. 85 

When Akbar was making plans to set at naught 
the pretensions of the Sunni Khalifa and the Shia 
Shah, his authority in India was being challenged, 
very slyly and effectively though, by the Sadrus 
.Sudur, Abdu-n Nabi. About the year 1577-78, 
the Qazi Abdur Rahman of Mathura 3G complained 
to the Sadr that a wealthy Brahmin had carried 
off the materials which the Qazi had collected for 
a Mas j id and built a temple, and that when the 
Qazi attempted to prevent him, the Brahmin used 
insulting language about the Prophet. The Brahmin 
was asked by the Sadr to come and answer the 
charges but he did not. The matter was reported 
to Akbar who sent Abul Fazl and Birbal to bring 
the Brahmin and on enquiry it was found that the 
Brahmin had actually used insulting language about 
the Prophet. Now, how should he be punished ? 

35 J.R.A.S., 1924, p. 591-608. See post Appendix A to this Chapter. 

36 Badauni, ill, p. 128. We do not understand how Smith could 
have overlooked such an incident in the development of Akbar 's views. 
Was it done deliberately ? 


Some were of opinion that he should be fined and 
be paraded through the streets on the back of 
an ass. 87 The Sadr wanted that he should be 
condemned to death. Whereas no execution could 
take place without the direct sanction of the 
Emperor, the Sadr sought the required sanction 
of Akbar. But the ladies of the harem stood on 
the way. They wanted the Brahmin to be saved; 
the sanction of the Emperor was not forthcoming. 
The Sadr now thought that his position would be 
much compromised if the Brahmin could not be 
executed and possibly taking the matter as a per- 
sonal question involving his prestige, he ordered 
immediate execution of the Brahmin and the man 
was executed. Apart from the legality of the 
execution, the work of the Sadr was highly against 
the law of the state, as no execution could take place 
without the sanction of the Emperor, and it involved 
a great principle whether the Sadr was above the law 
and his command was above that of the Emperor. 
Had he been Alauddin or Henry VIII, he would 
have given immediate orders for the execution of the 
Sadr. But Akbar was a different man altogether 
and, instead, he held conversation with Abdul Qadir 
and other theologians, to know what the law was 

37 Actually, according to Hanafi law, the disbelief in Prophets and 
Saints by non-Muslims and unbelievers who have submitted to the rule 
of Islam, gives no ground for any breach of agreement between 
the Zimmis and the Muslims and in no way absolves Muslims from 
their obligation to safeguard infidel subjects. Badauni, III, p. 129; 
Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, note on Zimmis. 


on the point. 88 Even the highest knowledge of the 
Tradition and Law which Abdul Qadir and others 
brought to bear on the defence of the execution, 
could not justify the action of the Sadr in this case. 

This incident resulted in gradual loss of the 
position of Abdu-n Nabi whose prestige had already 
been waning owing to his decisions on the Mu'tah 
marriage and owing to his mismanagement in 
the distribution of the Ay mas. Badauni informs 
us that this is the cause of his fall and no longer 
Abdu-n Nabi and Mukhdum-ul-Mulk " would 
occupy seats and nobody would salute them." 

To summarise what has been said in course 
of the development of facts relating to the religio- 
political position of the Emperor, the central 
events during this period were the building of 
the Ibadat Khana and the religious discussions, 
the organisation of the administrative system with 
its Karoris, and driving out of the Qazis from 
the positions, branding regulation, conversion of 
Jagir lands into crown lands, death of Shah 
Tahmasp and consequent recitation of the Khutba 
and the decree of 1579 repudiating the Perso- 
Arabic pretensions on the Timurid House of 
Hindustan. But all was not as Akbar had 
expected. He had to encounter opposition from 
all parties whose interests had been touched 
by his regulations. The Qazis were angry that 

38 Bad., Ill, pp. 129-30. 


their privileges in the distribution of lands had 
been taken out of their hands, and that they had 
been supplanted by the newly appointed Karoris, 
the monopoly of their judicial authority was broken 
down by the reservation of the death sentence 
as a royal prerogative, the principal source of 
their income, bribery, had been checked and they 
were ejected from the lands which they had been 
occupying so long without any authority. This 
was too much for them. Those Qazis who had 
been turned out of their offices, and those who had 
been transferred to distant provinces, began to eke 
out their living by starting Mosques and Maktabs. 
Every masjid had a maktab attached to it and 
the Imam of the mosque, whatever might be the 
extent of his learning, was a teacher by virtue of 
his position. These teachers began to spread all 
sorts of untruths and half-truths in course of their 
teachings and began to present Akbar in the role of 
an apostate. After the Jumma prayers, the Moulvis, 
in course of their instructions to their Jam' at 
(assembly), excited and incited the ignorant and 
easily inflammable mass against Akbar, quoting 
from unauthorised versions of the Quran or inter- 
preting the texts in their own way. The ' Sulh-i- 
Kul ' (peace with all) policy of Akbar was presented 
by the orthodox party as a surrender of Islam to the 
unbelievers and an attack upon Muslim religion. 30 

39 Smith, Akbar, p. 85. 


In that age of belief, the ignorant and unsuspecting 
mass really believed that Akbar had become an 
unbeliever and many a gossip found their way before 
the public about the faith and belief of Akbar. In 
987 A.H. (1579-80 A.D.) Mulla Muhammad Yazid 
Qazi of Jaunpur, who was a bitter Shia and who 
was intelligent enough to understand the anti- 
Persian implications of the Mahzar, issued a 
Fatwah sanctioning Jehad 40 against the monarch 
" who has encroached upon the grants of lands 
belonging to us and to God . ' ' Further the strict 
enforcement of the branding regulations, opening 
up of the register of rolls 41 and the fixing up of 
the boundaries by cutting down the unauthorised 
areas of the landholders and the principle of con- 
version of Jagir lands into Khalsa lands had touched 
a very influential class of vested interests. They 
now focussed all their attention to distant and far- 
off provinces Bengal and Behar away from the 
vigilance of the Imperial eye. The place was 
geographically favourable as a plague spot 42 and 
the regulations of Shah Mansur cutting down at his 
own initiative the allowance of eastern soldiers by 

* Jehad a religious war ; the root of the word (j^-a.) means ' to 

strive in the way of God', i.e., for establishment of faith. The word has 
undergone many changes in meaning in different ages. 

" See ante, Chapter III, pp. 60-6 1. 

* 3 Bengal Afghans had never accepted the conquest of Panipat 
or Sarhind as the last word in their history of India, and they nevei 
hesitated to avail themselves of an opportunity of rising against the 
Timurids whenever any occurred. 


50% in Bengal and 20%' in Behar, 43 by demanding 
the refund of the general cut, had made the 
soldiers mutinous. The Fatwah of Qazi Yazid 
of Jaunpur was further strengthened by another 
Fatwah of the Qazi of Bengal which served only to 
pour oil on troubled waters. We find the disgrun- 
tled Maulanas, the ignorant masses led by them, the 
refractory Jagirdars, the mutinous soldiers, all joined 
together and preparations began for the declara- 
tion of an open rebellion. Smith suggests that the 
revolt was primarily a religious revolt but his view 
is not tenable in the light of facts. It was primarily 
political and Mullas gave sanction to a war which 
would have come even if the religious sanction 
were not behind it, just as was the case on the 
eve of the French Revolution, when the unwilling 
and hesitating Tiers Etat received the Divine 
sanction, through the Lower Clergy, to join the war 
against the Divine Kingship of Louis XVI. 

The Orthodox party now began to look upon 
Akbar's half-brother Mirza Muhammad Hakim as 
their ruler and started to conspire against Akbar* 
Masum Khan Kabuli, Jagirdar of Patna, was in 
communication with Mirzfc Muhammad Hakim and 

Bengal and Behar, for climate and distance, were always looked 
upon as spots of death. The Mughals considered them like the Andamans 
of to-day. No soldier would work there without extra pay or allowance. 
Akbar had to promise an increase of 100% in salary to Bengal and 50% 
to Behar soldiers when they were asked to fight against Daud Khan. In 
thii war. no less than 14 high officers died L at Gaur. See Blochmann, 
p. 118, footnote. 


planned a joint attack from the east and the west 
simultaneously. The conspirators were much 
encouraged to find Shah Mansur, the Imperial 
Finance Minister, joining the conspiracy. The 
Shah of Persia, inspite of his troubles, sent forces to 
Mirza Muhammad Hakim, for the implication of 
the Decree of 1579 were not unknown to him. 
Moreover the Shah was aware of the fact that am- 
bassadors had already been sent to Akbar 's court 
by the Khalifa and he was afraid of an intervention 
from the van and rear by the Khalifa and Akbar. 44 
As Buckler suggests, the arrival of the Uzbeg 
embassies during this period was not possibly 
unconnected with the political events of the period. 46 
So the Shah was anxious that the Indian Sultan 
must be embararssed from all directions possible 
and he promised help to Mirza Muhammad Hakim 
in his Indian venture. 

By January, 1580, the Afghan Chiefs declared 
a rebellion. Masum Khan Kabuli was the ring- 
leader. He was joined by Masum Khan Far an- 
khudi, Mirza Ma'in-ul-Mulk, Nyabat Khan, Arab 
Bahadur, Wazir Jamil, Baba Khan Kakshaal and 
others. Masum Khan Kabuli defeated Muzaffar 
Khan at Tanda. Akbar sent Todar Mai to re- 
cover Bengal, who cleverly occupied the very 

44 E. & D., Vol. V, Tabqat, p. 407. 

45 J.R.A.S., 1924, p. 603. 


strategic Teliagarhi Pass 46 known as the gate of 
Bengal and checked the rebels from advancing 
further to combine with the armies of the other 
leaders. Mirza Aziz Koka was appointed gover- 
nor of Bengal and Shahbaz Khan was called 
back from Rajputana. The gravity of the situa- 
ation may be measured from the fact that, inspite 
of the supreme efforts of the best generals of the 
time, it took Akbar four years to pacify Bengal. 
Farrankhudi even had followers in Oudh where 
they made an attempt, though short-lived, at a 
rebellion. In 1580, while the Bengal rebellion 
was in progress, the officers of Mirza Hakim under 
Nuruddin raided the Punjab. 47 Within one month 
Mirza Hakim himself advanced in person and the 
rebellion now took a serious turn. Akbar thought 
it necessary to move up personally to the north in 
February, 1581. The conspirator, Shah Mansur, 
was found out and executed. Fortunately for 
Akbar, the Punjab rebellion could not assume a 
serious turn owing to the imbecility and incapacity 
of the Mirza, who loved the intoxication of wine 
and women more than that of war and the throne. 

46 The pass lies between the Sahibganj (E. I. Ry.) hills and the 
Ganges with an area of six miles It is strategically very important ; 
the natural barrier of the river Ganges and the mountains would be 
enough obstacle to any that would attempt to cross over. Buchanan's 
account of Teliagarhi was published by Beveridge in the National 
Magazine (Calcutta), January, 1894, p. 21. It says that the Raja was of 
Tili caste, having his seat at Dharran in Faizullaganj thana in the 
Bhagalpur District But this is not correct. Akbarnama, III, p. 151. 

Smith, Akbar, p. 119. 


Mirza Hakim was practically defeated by himself 
and Akbar, after pacifying Kabul, restored the 
kingdom to his half-brother through his sister/ 8 

But how should the rebels be punished? In his 
inimitable way, of course unlike Balban and Ala- 
uddin who punished a whole family for the fault 
of one, to make an example. 49 Akbar sent for 
Mulla Qazi of Jaunpur and his accomplice, the 
Qazi of Bengal and they were thrown into the 
river. 50 Many other Shias and Maulanas were sent 
to different places in India and many to Qandahar 
* ' where they were exchanged for horses and 
colts." But Akbar did not punish the rank and 
file who joined the rebellion, for he knew that the 
mass, narrow and bigoted in their outlook as they 
had been, were mere dupes of those still more 
narrow and more bigoted Mullas. So with a view 
to reforming and remodelling the Mullas 51 and 
to bringing about silent and steady reforms at 
the root, he introduced the following measures 

48 This is an instance of Akbar *s astute political acumen. He had 
not only defeated an enemy but turned that enemy into a friend. 

49 Lane-Poole, Medieval India, pp. 86, 107. 

50 Badauni, and following him Smith, have made capital of the 
punishment of the Qazis. They interpret this punishment and the depor- 
tations as a move against the very Church of Islam. But did they not 
deserve it from the point of statecraft ? Knowing, as Akbar did, their 
attitude towards him, it would have been a criminal folly on the part of 
Akbar if the refractory and uncompromising Mullas were left in their 

51 Similar attempts were made by Khalifa Mansur in Bagdad and 
he too was often misrepresented in his days and interdicted as an 
heretic and apostate. 


in the administration of the Muslim Church in 
Hindustan : 

(a) Mosques were not to be started in any and 
every place according to the sweet will of a Mulla. 

(b) Madrasas could not be established at any 
and every place. 

(c) A Maulana, not duly qualified, would not 
be allowed to serve as an Imam nor would an un- 
qualified Mulla be permitted to teach in Maktabs 
and Mosques. 

( d) Exclusive devotion to theology and Arabic 
language was discouraged and subjects like Astro- 
nomy, Physics, Arithmetic, Poetry, and History 
(Chronology) were introduced in the curricula. 

(e) The post of the Sadr-us-Sudur was abolish- 
ed altogether in November, 1581, for the power of 
the Sadr was immeasurably great and unrestricted 
and almost parallel to that of the Emperor as it was 
based on religious sanction. So he substituted the 
Imperial Sadr by six Provincial Sadrs in (l)the 
Punjab, (2) Delhi, Malwa and Guzrat, (3) Agra, 
Kalpi and Kalanjar, (4) Hajipur near the Sarju 
river, (5) Behar, and (6) Bengal. 52 

At about this time Akbar was faced with 
another rebellion known as Ilahi rebellion. There 
was a sect of Shaikhs who called themselves ' dis- 

52 Smith, Akbar, p. 207. Badauni has discussed these measures from 
a different angle altogether as measures against Islam. But they were 
really measures against rebellion. They were all introduced at the same 
time after the Bengal rebellion. The Central Structure of Mughal 
Empire by Ibn Hasan, p. 269. 


ciples ' but were generally known as the Ilahis. 
* They used to utter all sorts of lies and nonsense.' 
Akbar had many of them captured and asked 
them " whether they repented of their vanities " ; 
they replied, "Repentance is our maid-servant." 
They were sent to Bakkar (Sind) and to Qandahar, 
and were given to merchants in exchange for 
Turkish colts. But this did not destroy the rebel- 
lion and they continued to trouble for some years 
more ; we find Akbar sending very strong con- 
tingents against them even in the year 1 585. 53 

Akbar came back to the capital on December 1 , 
1 581 , and again resumed the debates of the Ibadat 
Khana. So long he had searched for the light but 
had only found it through the eyes of others. He 
now started an assembly called " the Forty," r>1 
whose principle was to " decide by reason." The 
creeds that were now represented in the Hall of 
Discussion were 

(1) Sunni. 

' (2) Shia. 

(3) Hindu. 

(4) Zoroastrian. 

(5) Jain. 

(6) Sikh. 

5S . Badauni, II, p. 308. For details of their doctrines, see Dabistan, 
Vol I, Chapter HI. 
5* Bad., II, p. 218. 


(7) Buddhist. 

(8) Jew. 

(9) Christian. 

In our next chapter we shall discuss the com- 
parative influences of the different forces that were 
working in the Ibadat Khana leading to the meta- 
morphosis of 1582. 


Muslim Rulers of Hindustan, Iran and Rum 
in the Sixteenth Century 

Timurid Sulfans of 

Shia Shahs of Iran 

Sunni Khalifas of 

Name. Date. 
Bahar ... 1526-30 

Name. Date. 
Shah Ismail 1502-24 

Name. Date. 

Salim the 
Grim ... 1512-20 

Humayun .. 1530-40 

Shah Tahmasp 1524-76 

Suleiman the 
Magnificent 1520-66 

Sur Dynasty 1540-55 

Ismail the 
Second .. 1576-78 

Salim the 
Drunkard 1566-74 

Humayun . 1555-56 

Khodawanda 1578-87 

Murad the 
Third .. 157495 

Akbar ...1536-1603 

Shah Abbas 1587-1629 

the Third 1595-1603 


" Whereas Hindustan is now become the centre 
of security and peace, and the land of justice and 
beneficence, a large number of people, especially 
learned men and lawyers, have immigrated and 
chosen this country for their home. Now we, the 
principal Ulama who are well-versed in the several 
departments of the law and in the principles of 
jurisprudence, and well acquainted with the edicts 



which rest on reason and testimony, but are also 
known for piety and honest intentions, have duly 
considered the deep meaning, first, of the verse of 
Quran, ' Obey God, and obey the Prophet, and 
those who have authority among you/ and second- 
ly of the genuine Tradition, ' Surely the man who 
is dearest to God on the day of judgment is the 
Imam-i-Adil ; whosoever obeys the Amir, obeys 
Thee ; and whosoever rebels against him, rebels 
against Thee,' and thirdly, of several other proofs 
based on reasoning or testimony ; and we have* 
agreed that the rank of SuItan-i-Adil (just ruler) 
is higher in the rank of a Mujtahid (authority on 
points of law). F\nther we declare that the king 
of Islam, Amir of the Faithful, shadow of God 
in the world, Abul-Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad 
Akbar Padshah Gazi (whose kingdom God per- 
petuate) is a most just, a most wise, and a most 
God-fearing king. Should, therefore, in future 
a religious question come up, regarding which the 
opinions of the Mujtahids are at variance, and 
His Majesty in his penetrating understanding an'd 
clear wisdom be inclined to adopt, for the benefit 
of the nation, and as a political expedient, any of 
the conflicting opinions which exist on that point, 
and issue a decree to that effect, we do hereby 
agree that such a decree shall be binding on us 
and on the whole nation. 

" Further, we declare that, should His Majesty 
think fit to issue a new order, we and the nation 


shall likewise be bound by it, provided always tha 
such order be not only in accordance with some 
verses of the Quran, but also of real benefit to the 
nation ; and further that any opposition on the 
part of his subjects to such an order passed by 
His Majesty shall involve damnation in the world 
to come, and loss of property and religious privi- 
leges in this. 

" This document has been written with honest 
intentions, for the glory of God, and the propaga- 
tion of Islam, and is signed by us, the principal 
Ulama and lawyers, in the month of Rajab of the 
year nine hundred and eighty-seven (987 A. H.)." 
In discussing Akbar's religion, Smith began 
with some pre-conceived notions. Before he care- 
fully surveyed all the materials in his command, 
he had formed his own opinions and while 
going through the work developed his facts very 
ingeniously and spun them into a logically 
connected treatise to force the readers into his own 
conclusions. The summum of his findings is that 
from the very beginning Akbar had an intention 
to * make him Pope as well as King ' and he only 
waited for a favourable turn of events which he 
never failed to screw to his definitely shaped ideas. 
Smith tells his readers that in this transaction 
Akbar had the services of Shaikh Mubarak, father 
of Faizi and Abul Fazl. The persecution, to 
which Shaikh Mubarak was a victim from the 
theocratic side of the state, is well known to all 


readers of Badauni. Smith brought in Mubarak 
to support Akbar in his scheme for the eradica- 
tion of the Mulla influence over the state and of 
placing himself at the head of the Church and 
the State. Though each had his different angle of 
vision Akbar political and Mubarak personal 
the result was the same namely, the destruction 
of the Mulla party. So Smith makes Mubarak 
come to Agra after his successful Guzrat expedi- 
tion and make a speech expressing the hope 
that ' the Emperor might become the spiritual 
as well as the temporal head of his people.' 3 
" The suggestion pleased Akbar who bore it in 
mind and acted on it six years later in 1579." 2 
Thus Smith very slyly connects the speech of 
congratulations of 1 572-73 with the Mahzar of 
1 579. Indeed the document was written by 
Mubarak ; at this time he was the most learned 
man of the court of Akbar, so the task naturally 
devolved upon him. The text of the document, 
as interpreted by Smith, " solemnly recognised 
Akbar as being superior, in his capacity of Imam- 
i-Adil, to any other interpreter of Muslim law/' 
and practically invested him with the attribute of 
infallibility. Here Smith was encouraged to find 
support in Badauni. 

But the view taken by Smith is erroneous in 
the light of facts during the momentous period 

1 For details consult Durbar-i- Akbar. 

2 Smith, Akbar, p. 1 16. 


of six years 1573-79. The interpretations as 
advanced by the Badauni group of historians do 
not fit in with other events of Akbar 's life during 
this period. We have narrated in detail a the reli- 
gious and devout nature of Akbar during this 
period when we find him untying the lace of the 
shoes of the Maulana, * sweeping the dust of the 
Khanqah of Salim Chishti ' and ungrudgingly 
carrying out the orders of the Sadr as if it was an 
act of merit to do so. Did not Akbar place at 
that time the whole of the religious endowments 
and ' Aymas ' in the hands of the Sadr ? Even 
in the year 1575-76, after the so-called hint of 
Mubarak, did he not make provision for the pil- 
grims to the holy land of Mecca from the state 
treasury for all and sundry and continue the 
practice during the years of so-called Schism 
(1575-80) ? Did he not at the outset confine the 
Ibadat Khana to the Shaikhs, Ulama and Sayids 
of the Sunni creed only ? Did he not undertake 
himself very long and strenuous journey to the 
shrines of saints of Ajmer in the year 1 580 ? 
Even during the year 1 578, the year before 
the Mahzar, he chanted the Sufi formula of ' Ya 
hu, Ya Hadi.' 4 Even during the famous year 
of the Decree, did he not send Rs. 50,000 to the 
Sharifs of Mecca ? Did he not propose to build 
a Rest House for the Indian pilgrims at Mecca 

3 See antes Chap. Ill, pp. 120-21. 
' Badauni, Vol. II. p. 203. 


during that momentous period ? And such a 
devout man, in course of a fine morning on the 
third day of the month of September in 1 578, 
manufactured the famous Decree which placed him 
above the Ulama or the Shaikhs or even above the 
Quran, and which pronouncedly extended " the 
autocracy of Akbar from the temporal to the 
spiritual side and made him the Pope as well as 
the King," rendering all opposition impossible! 
But no event in the relation between Akbar and 
the Islamic faith during the period is sufficient to 
explain the issue of the Mahzar of 1579. The 
interpretation of the Decree in the light of Badauni 
is apparently logical in the light of the subsequent 
events. But it must be remembered that Badauni 
wrote his Muntakhabut Tawarikh long after the 
Din-i-Ilahi was shaped and promulgated. When a 
man finds an effect, it is not very difficult for him 
to connect the events with a cause. So, Badauni, 
finding the promulgation of the Din-i-llahi, sought 
a background and found it easily in the declara- 
tion of the Mahzar which preceded it. But. 
Badauni and following him Smith and others 
lost sight of the real issue involved in the document. 
We may admit that the biased and bigoted 
Mullas could not or rather did not like to 
understand the intricacies of the political situation 
of the Islamic world, but how could Smith, who 
had all the materials of history at his command, 
lose sight of the clear political aspect ? Possibly, 


as we have already suggested, he refused to open 
his eyes to the political side of the question, for that 
would defeat his pre-conceived conclusions. 

Peculiarly enough, the historians of the Muslim 
Empire have interpreted the Indian monarchs in 
the light of the Indian events and currents only. 
That these monarchs had trans- Indian relations, 
was lost sight of by the Muslim historians. The 
fault is not exclusively theirs ; in the absence of 
royal archives and news agencies, it was really 
difficult to have information from far-off countries. 
Thus the Indian Muslim relations with the Perso- 
Arabic Muslim Empires have not been properly 
discussed in the Indian histories written by contem- 
porary Muslims. 5 Had Smith been so inclined, he 
could easily have explained the Declaration of 1 579 
by reference to the Timurid relations with the Shia 
Empire of Persia and the Sunni Khelafat of Rum. 

As a Muslim sovereign, Akbar had automatic 
relations with the Khalifa. The Khalifa of Islam, 
as the Law demands, always claimed religious 
"obedience from all the followers of the Faith. 

5 There is a fine scope of writing a History of Hindustan from the 
Muslim standpoint explaining the current of Indian History through 
trans-Indian Muslim forces. 

^ For the Khelafat pretensions over the Indian Muslims, see Hughes, 
Dictionary of Islam As far back as 121 1 A. D., Sultan Iltutmish even 
sought recognition from the Khalifa and the half-Muslim Turk became 
the " light of the religion " Shamsuddin^-after his recognition by the 
Khalifa. These Khelafat pretensions continued even at the time of the 
Sepoy Mutiny in the proceedings of the trial of the king of Delhi. 
The British Government, during the early days of the Great War of 1914, 


Hence the dignity of the Khalifa supplied many 
fruitful causes for war amongst the followers of 
the faith as was the case with the Pope in Christian 
Europe before 1648. These pretensions supplied 
one of the main causes for the war between Timur 
and the Khelafat, ending in the famous battle of 
1402 and the transference of the Islamic capital 
(Dar-ul Khelafat) to Samarkand and in the assump- 
tion of the title of Khalifat-ul-lillah by Timur. 
These pretensions continued in the family of Timur 
from 1402 to 1856. 7 To make this claim of Timur 
to the Khelafat more effective, possibly Abul Fazl 
has purposely drawn the genealogy of Timur from 
Adam and the epithet of Khalifa has been associat- 
ed with all the ancestors of Akbar. After suggest- 
ing the natural claim of the Timurid family to the 
Khelafat, Abul Fazl has drawn a parallel between 
the horoscopes 8 of Timur and Akbar so that the 
auspicious birth of both of them equally fitted them 
to hold the dignity of Khailfa by heavenly ordina- 
tion. Even an orthodox Mulla like Badauni used 
the word Khalifa when he mentioned the name of 
Akbar. Abul Fazl almost always associated the 

grew afraid lest the Khelafat pretensions might weigh too much 
with the Indian Muslims and shake their loyalty to the British 
Crown. Hence was the declaration of Lloyd-George regarding the 
integrity of the Khelafat Sultan Mahmud of Gazni, Yusuf bin 
Tashfin of Spain, Saladin of Egypt and Syria, Nuruddin Omar of 
Yaman, Iltutmish, Muhammad Tughluq and Firoz Tughluq of Hindu- 
stan received investiture from some Khalifa or other. 

7 See Parliamentary Proceedings of the trial of the king of Delhi. 

8 See Ain-i-Akbari, I, pp. 25, 42-43, 80, 128. 


title of Khalifa-uz-Zaman to give more stress to 
the claim and to make it doubly effective, because 
this assumption of the dignity of the Khelafat was 
a great achievement which accounts for the prestige 
of Timur and of his house. But neither the orthodox 
Ulama of Bagdad and Persia, nor the Khalifas and 
Shahs, ever accepted these Khelafat pretensions of 
the Timurid supremacy over Mecca and Bait-ul- 
Moqaddas and treat this period as one of Schism in 
the Khelafat. In our opinion, the vindication of the 
claim of Akbar to this proud position, once held by 
his great ancestor, supplied one of the foremost 
considerations for the promulgation of the Mahzar 
of 1579. 

Geographically speaking, the Persian Muslim 
Empire had very intimate connections with the 
Timurid kingdoms in Samarkand, at Kabul and in 
Hindustan. We know the circumstances 9 that 
led to the struggle between Sultan Bayezid of 
Turkey and Timur, ending in the great battle of 
Angora in 1402. After the death of Timur, his 
immediate descendants were too weak to vindicate 
their superiority to the Persians or to the Khalifas 
of Bagdad. When the Timurids were off the field, 
the struggle continued between the Shia kingdom 
of Persia and the Sunni kingdom of Arabia. Shah 
Ismail, the great ruler of Persia (1502-24), restored 
the former splendour and glory of the ancient 

9 E. G. Brown, History of the Persian Literature under Tartar 
Dominion, pp. 196, 204. Beveridge contends that Timur was a Shia 
(J.A.S.B., N.S., XVII, 1921, pp. 201-04); but he is wrong. 



kingdom and became a rival to Sultan Salim the 
Grim (1512-20). Ismail forced many of his vassals 
to accept the Shia faith, which under him became 
the national faith of Persia. But those that did not, 
remained bitterly hostile to the kingship of Shah 
Ismail and looked upon the Khalifa of Rum as their 
real ruler, just as the Catholics of England looked 
upon Mary Queen of Scots and not Elizabeth as 
their Sovereign. To get back his ancestral king- 
dom at Samarkand, Babar in 1510 and 1512 accept- 
ed the Shia suzerainty of Shah Ismail and agreed to 
wear the Shia-i-Taj, and to strike coins bearing 
Shia texts. Babar thus became avowedly a vassal 
of Shah Ismail, both spiritually and temporally. 10 
However, Salim the Grim, as a part of his anti- 
Persian policy, massacred a large number of Shias, 
fought the battle of Chaldrain, defeated Shah Ismail 
and ultimately transferred the Khelafat to the 
house of Osman by defeating the last of the 
Abbasids in Egypt in 1517. 11 Thereafter Salim 
issued a proclamation of hegemony over all Sunni 
believers all over the world. After the defeat of 
Shah Ismail at Chaldrain, Babar felt himself strong 
enough to chalk out his own line of action. In 
1526, Babar began to strike coins bearing the 
texts of the first four Khalifas (Khulafa-e-Rashedun), 
and had the Khutba read in his name. The 
removal of Shia texts from the coins 12 proved his 

1 Tarikhi Rashidi, pp. 262-66; Memoirs of Babar, pp. 105-09. 
" Hammer-Purgstall, IV, pp. 174, 178, 190-91. 
" C. J. Brown, Coins of India, PL X, No. 1, 


independence of the Shia Shah of Persia and the 
reading of the Khutba pointed to the fact that he 
was beyond the hegemony of the Khalifa of Rum. 13 
When the wheels of fortune turned against 
Humayun, that unlucky descendant of Timur, he 
had to accept the Shia-i-Taj of Shah Tahmasp, and 
undergo the formalities of the Shia court. Prac- 
tically Humayun had, willingly or unwillingly, to 
become a vassal of the Shia sovereign of Persia 
and accepted a commission to lead an expedition 
to recover the lost provinces of Qandahar and 
Delhi under the command of Murad, a Persian 
royal prince aged only six years. It must be noted 
here that the duty entrusted to Humayun was to 
reconquer the lost provinces of Qandahar and Delhi ; 
but it was not an independent duty, it was only 
under a Persian prince. However feeble might 
have been the voice of the commander of six years, 
this acceptance of command under a child of six 
years proved the subordinate position of Humayun. 
When Humayun failed in his attempt, he had 
to explain his conduct just as an ordinary officer 
would be required to do before his master. After 
the conquest of Qandahar, Bairam Khan, as Shah 
Tahmasp 's direct vassal, was given the principality 
of Qandahar, which was held by him on the 
same terms M as Humayun held Kabul and Delhi . 

13 Badauni, I, p. 336; Memoirs of Babar, II, p. 190; S. K. Banerji, 
Religion of Humayun. 

14 Ain-i-Akbari, I, pp. 241, 309; Tabqat-i Akbari (E. & D., Vol Vl, 
p. 221. 


Thus the relation de-jare between the fifth and 
sixth Timurids and the Persian monarchs was 
rather feudal. This is further corroborated by the 
continuance of the Persian orders and decorations 
and by the association of the title of Masnad-i- 
Imarat with the throne of Delhi during this 

When Humayun died, the Shah of Persia did 
not commit himself to any definite line of action, for 
he knew that so long as Bairam Khan, his faith- 
ful Shia vassal, was there as the guardian of the 
minor Akbar, the interest of Persia was more 
or less safe. Bairam s Persian policy could be 
read in the appointment of a Shia Sadr-us-Sudur, 
Shaikh Gudai, and in the selection of a Persian 
scholar, Abul Latif, as the tutor of the young 
Emperor. Diplomatically speaking, the Persian 
Shah was light in placing his trust in Bairam, 
and Bairam was intelligent enough to understand 
the trend of events. When Bairam 's future was 
in danger, he counted on the help of Persia and 
would probably have proceeded to Persia where 
the help of the Shah was a certainty, 15 but that 
could not be only for his murder in Guzrat. The 
struggle between the ward and the guardian was 
probably anticipated by Shah Tahmasp and this 
explains the belatedness of the letter of condolence 

15 This prospect of Persian assistance is conoborated in the light 
of vents of 1 580 when the rebellion of Mirza Hakim was backed by the 
Persian monarch. See Smith, Akbar, p. 119. 


to Akbar on the occasion of Humayun's death. lfi 
When Shah Tahmasp found that the accession 
was an accomplished fact, he wanted to make the 
least use of it, by waiting and watching the trend 
of events. But the misfortunes of Humayun had 
finished the cycle of the Timurids for a time and, 
as days passed, Akbar 's stars rose higher and 
higher. The Shah was always uneasy at the rise 
of the Timurids in India and would not fail to 
utilise the Mirzas of the border and so we find the 
inspiration of Persia behind the Guzrat rebellion 
in 1573. Naturally the master of Persia did not 
like to see his vassal in Hindustan grow stronger 
than himself. 

Fortunately for Akbar, by the eighties of the 16th 
century the Muslim Empires of the Sunni Khalifa 
and the Shia Shah fell into disorder. Salim the Grim 
died in 1574 and was succeeded by Murad III ; 
Shah Tahmasp also died two years later in 1 576 
and there began a period of anarchy and civil war 
lasting for a period of 1 1 years with all their 
concomitant intrigues and plots so common in 
Persian courts. Murad sent an expedition to Persia 
through Georgia, which on its way stirred up the 
Sunni vassals of the Shia Sultan of Persia. Even 

16 Tabqat, E. & D., Vol. V, 276. The letter of condolence came six 
years after Humayun's death : the long delay in sending this letter 
of condolence to Akbar may also be explained by the policy of wait 
and watch adopted by the Persian monarchs towards the affairs of 


Akbar was invited " to assist in restoring order." 17 
Akbar was very well acquainted with the deplor- 
able state of the Khelafat's internal affairs. Inspite 
of the outward glamour of the Khelafat, the Grand 
Vizir Sokoli was murdered in 1 578 and the Khela- 
fat forces were defeated in Europe and Georgia. 18 
Akbar heard these news possibly from Haji 
Abdulla and Sultan Khawaja who arrived in 
Hindustan from Europe at that time. He also re- 
ceived embassies from Nizam Husain of Badakhshan 
and from Abdulla Khan Uzbeg of Transoxiana 
and these embassies were not possibly unconnected 
with the affairs of Persia. 19 

So far as Persia was concerned, the condition 
was no better. The great Shah Tahmasp was 
murdered in 1 576 and a civil war continued, and 
it took Persia more than a decade to get to a 
settled position. The constant rivalry of the Sunni 
Khalifa and the intrepid raid of the border Uzbegs 
had placed the Persian Empire in an ugly position. 
The two monarchs, Ismail II and Muhammad 
Khodawanda (1574-87), were too weak to retain the 
proud position of the Safavi dynasty. The weakness 
of the Safavi Empire in Persia was just in propor- 
tion to the strength of the Chogtai Empire in 
India. Here was the opportunity for Akbar; if 

17 The fact of the Khalifa's invitation to Akbar is mentioned in 
Ain., Ill, p. 31 1 ; Tabqat, E. & D , Vol. V, p. 407. 

18 Hays, Modern Europe, Vol. I, p. 259, 
l Badauni, Vol. II, p. 278. 


lie would not avail himself of the opportunity now, 
it would never come again, for a powerful monarch 
like Shah Abbas (1587-1629) would make his best 
to prevent intrusion into his supremacy, possibly 
with success. 

Conversant with the affairs of the trans- Indian 
Muslim Empires, Akbar marked out his time for 
movement. Accordingly, he intended to devise 
some means of freeing himself from the politico- 
religious pretensions of Iran and religious hege- 
mony of Rum. But the difficulty lay in the fact 
that if he would claim himself to be beyond the 
control of the Shia Sultan of Persia, he would 
automatically fall under the religious supremacy 
of the Sunni Khalifa who was the accredited 
commander of the Faithful (Amir-ul-Muminin). 
Akbar proceeded very cautiously ; he began by 
having recourse to a very simple and long-trodden 
path of repudiation of the religious hegemony of the 
Khalifa by having the Khutba read in his own name 
as had been done by his great ancestors, Timur, 
Mirza Ulagh Beg i-Gurgan and Babar. Akbar had 
been taken to task by the Ulama for this recital 
and Badauni tried to make a caricature of the 
Khutba recital by Akbar, whom the chronicler, 
with his usual venom against all innovations, made 
to halt in the midst of the recital of the verse com- 
posed by Shaikh Faizi, suggesting very cunningly 
that the failure to finish the verse was due to his 
heresy or his apostacy. However, we have it from 


the versions of Abul Fazl that he finished the 
Khutba, and historically speaking, this Khutba was 
only a repetition of what had been done by his 
great ancestors, and Badauni even admitted that 
there was much of politics behind the recital. 20 
The effect of the recital had indirectly affected 
the religio-political supremacy of the Khalifa of 
Rum and the Shah of Iran. 21 But he knew that the 
Sunni party might be offended at this assumption, 
so he tried to lessen the opposition by assuming 
the less offensive title of Khalifa-uz-Zaman 
as was done by Elizabeth when she changed 
Henry VIII 's title of ' the head of the church ' to 

* the governor of the church/ But the recital of the 
Khutba, along with the assumption of the title of 

* Khalifa-uz-Zaman, ' remained a sufficient challenge 
to the Khelafat pretensions of Rum. Thus, the 
difficulty of the repudiation of the Shia hegemony, 
which meant automatic reversion of the Timurid 
Empire of Hindustan into the Sunni Khelafat of 
Rum, was solved by the assumption of the Khelafat 
title and recital of the Khutba. Now that the purely 
religious pretensions of the Khelafat were guarded 
against, Akbar began to attack the politico-religious 
claim of the Shia Shah of Persia in his peculiar 
way. At that time Akbar 's court could boast of 

20 Badauni, II, p. 276. 

21 Humayun was made to recite the Khutba in the name of Shah 
Tahmasp as a mark of acceptance of the Shia creed. 


at least 1 50 poets and 171 generals from Persia. 
The Persian element in the administration was 
unusually strong. 22 Instead of an open declaration 
against the Persian pretensions, Akbar himself had 
recourse to the Mahzar forwarded to him by the 
theocratic side of the state and indeed it was devis- 
ed, as Buckler says, " to fix the position of Akbar 
in the Muslim world by eliminating him from the 
religious and political control of Persia." The 
introduction of the Mahzar would always remain 
a brilliant testimony to the great political wisdom 
of the monarch. The Mahzar was addressed to him 
by the Mullas, guardians of the Faith, who did not 
like the Shias of Persia, but Akbar was careful 
enough to see that the susceptibilities of the Shias 
and the Persians at his court were not wounded. It 
was couched in beautiful Persian language, the 
phraseology was also Persian ; apparently it con- 
tained no single clause which an orthodox Shia 
might not accept. The Mahzar began by giving 
the Emperor Akbar the dignity of the Imam-i-Adil 
or Lord- just, a title which no one, be he a Shia or 
a Sunni, could object to. Even Badauni, Abdu-n 
Nabi and Abdulla Sultanpuri signed it. 

One Hadis enjoins, " Surely the man dearest 
to God on the day of judgment is the Imam-i-Adil ; 
whosoever obeys the Amir, obeys Thee and 

22 Badauni, II, p. 327, " His 'Majesty once ordered that the Sunnis 
should stand separately from Shias, when the Hindustanis, without excep- 
tion, went to the Sunni side and the Persians to the Shia side." The list 
of Shias at Akbar's court given by Blochmann is moie or less exhaustive. 



whosoever rebels against him, rebels against Thee." 
Next, the Ulama agreed that "the rank of Sultan- 
i-Adil is higher in the eyes of God than the rank 
of Mujtahid. " Thus very slyly the Imam-i- 
Adil of Hindustan, that is, Akbar, was placed 
above the Mujtahid of Persia. The Ulama 
were aware of the fact that there may be some 
differences regarding the interpretations of the 
religious questions. They wanted that the deci- 
sions of the Imam-i~Adil should be ' for the benefit 
of the nation and as a political expedient ' and 
' binding on the whole nation.' Thus the oppo- 
sition on the authority of the decisions of the Shia 
Mujtahids, which were based on religious preten- 
sions, could be easily shattered. Mark here the use 
of the words * for the benefit of the nation ' and ' as 
a political expedient.' The word * nation ' (public) 
was a new introduction in political terminology, for 
the Muslim rulers in India, previous to Akbar, 
had never thought of their rule in Hindustan 
in terms of the people as a whole except SherShah. 
Further, the decision might have been due to the 
political necessity which, of course, pointed to the 
necessity of doing away with the so-called political 
pretensions of the Shia rulers of Persia. 

So far as religion was concerned, there was no 
freedom given to Akbar. He was bound to limit 
himself to any one of the conflicting opinions of the 
Mujtahids in case of variance amongst them ; he 
* could not give any injunction beyond what has 


been given already.' The question of ' infallibility ' 
did not come from Mahzar either directly or by 
implication. No scope was given to Akbar for the 
superiority of his intellect to that of the Imam, as 
Smith would have us believe. Rather the Decree 
of 1579 circumscribed even the new orders of 
Akbar by making it distinct that the orders must be 
in accordance with the verses of the Quran. Now 
where is the validity of Badauni's suggestion that 
' the road of deciding any religious question was 
open' ? As we have pointed out already, Badauni's 
Muntakhabut Tawarikh, written long after the 
Mahzar had been promulgated and the innova- 
tions introduced by Akbar, has been slyly con- 
nected with the event of 1 579 for which there 
is no justification. 

Therefore, it may be safely said that the I 
Mahzar of 1579 was a political document, both 
apparently and by implication, and that it had no 
connection with the Din-i-Ilahi, they being two 
different things altogether. And by this Mahzar 
the Mughal pride in Timur's Sunni orthodoxy 
aii3 in his triumph over Bayezid Yaldirin, was 
vindicated by the descendants of Akbar/ 23 

23 Dr. R. P. Tripathi's criticism of Prof. Buckler is not conclusive. 
Vide Some Aspects of Muslim Administration, pp. 156-58. Shah Jahan 
was given similar powers too. Vide A. H Lahori, Padshanama, p. 7. 


Three Paintings of the Ibadat Khana 

The paintings were published in the Bharat 
Itihash Sanshodhak Mandal of Poona. They were 
amongst the booties of the Maratha hordes from 
the Mughal Court of Agra and have been found 
in the archives of the Peshwas at Poona. The 
originals are extremely realistic and very faithful 
in portraiture. They look like real photograph of 
the personages whom they represent as do the 
paintings of the Mughal period generally. The 
colour, touch, lines and scenery breathe an atmo- 
sphere of life into the pictures. 

They portray the famous debates that in- 
fluenced so much of Akbar's life and politics, and 
regarding which there have gathered so many 
gossips and myths. The pictures are all dated 
after 1578 A.D. in which the Ibadat Khana 
assumed its cosmopolitan form. 

So far as the place of discussion was concern- 
ed, the first two paintings represent the same 
scenery a hill in the background from the top of 
which a waterfall descended into the midst of the 
debates and the members took their seats away 
from the fall and there are the paraphernalia of 
something like worship. The exact venue of 
these debates, as suggested by Father Heras, 

1 . Akbar engaged in a religious discussion 

Reprinted from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch, 1928.] 


was an old garden at the foot of the hill and 
rather near to the place where exist the rem- 
nants of once famous Hiran Minar or the 
Tower of Deer. Nothing of the waterfall exists 
now. The waterfall might have been an artificial 
one, constructed to cool the atmosphere and water 
the plants and trees. In the third picture, there 
was neither the hill nor the waterfall. Instead there 
was a thatched cottage which might have probably 
been built for a Hindu Yogi. There in the absence 
of a cool spring the seekers after truth sought 
shelter from the scorching rays of the sun inside 
the cottage. The cottage was surrounded by trees 
to the left and behind. The lawn in front was 
overlaid with beautiful plants and creepers and 
the whole cast of nature in the picture is indica- 
tive of a serene atmosphere that characterises those 
taking part in the debates. 

Though the debates in the first two pictures took 
place at the same place, they were not the same. 
The first one was at day time and the other at 
pight. In Picture No. 1 , the Emperor and the Prince 
ai^ seated on the ground, in Picture No. 2, they are 
on a dais. Akbar and Salim have beards in the 
Hindu fashion. The two bearded gentlemen in 
front of Akbar and Salim are possibly Faizi 
and Abul Fazl. There is a marked differ- 
ence between the crammed and supplicating 
manner in which the disputants below appeared 
and the free atmosphere in which the Sufi brothers 


expressed themselves. An extreme sense of 
sincerity may be read in the eyes and expres- 
sions of Akbar. Amongst the disputants sitting 
on the ground, some were Muhammadans and 
some were Hindus but they cannot be identified 
exactly. An old man with white flowing beards 
and a young Brahmin with beard shaved and 
hair tied in the Southern Indian fashion are rather 
prominent. In this picture, of the eight disput- 
ants no less than five are Muhammadans. This 
shows that Muhammadans were still the principal 
partisans in Akbar 's search after God. In the 
extreme right, there is a Hindu who cannot be 

In Picture No. 2, those in front of Akbar and 
Salim are quite different persons. The one 
with long uncombed hair is certainly a Hindu 
Sannyasi. The other is very likely a Parsee 
Dastur. His long flowing white gown, his round 
cap (Pagdi), his long white beard are characteristic 
of a Mobed. His aquiline nose also denotes a 
Parsee origin. He has long round ear-rings 
This is very likely Dastur Mahyarji Rana ^fio 
reached Akbar 's court in 1582. Akbar was at that 
time under the influence of the Zoroastrians to a 
large extent. I he portrait also suggests traces of 
Zoroastrian influence. There are several dishes 
with bread, fruits and other eatables and four 
lights. Two of the lights on the Imperial dais are 
covered with a wirebell or cover. The other pair 

2. Akbar in a religious worship 

Reprinted from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch, 1928.] 


is of a peculiar manufacture resembling crude 
lanterns generally used on ceremonial occasions 
amongst the Hindus; the way in which the lights are 
placed, bespeaks the Zoroastrian influence. The 
lighted lamps remind us of one of the Happy Say- 
ings of the Emperor, "To light a candle is to com- 
memorate the rising of the Sun. To whomsoever 
the Sun sets, what other remedy has he but this P" 

Other personages in the picture cannot be 
identified. One thing is peculiar, that there is no 
Muhammadan amongst the fourteen. On the 
extreme left, from the one with ear-rings and cap 
to the last one seem to be Rajputs. The last one 
with a bowl in front is perhaps a recluse. To 
the right, the extreme one is possibly a Chief 
and so are the two next to him. The fourth one, 
clean shaven, with a huge turban on his head and 
having an intelligent look, is a Hindu Raja. Just 
below him is also a Rajput. The last one in 
the picture is wrapped all over the body and 
has folded hands ; he has the look of a great 
Hindu Yogi, and his bowl testifies to his renun- 
cie\it>n of the world. In this picture, the influence 
of the Muhammadans is the least. 

Picture No. 3 is the most beautiful of the 
three. It is very striking that the Emperor himself 
is absent. There are seven persons debating, of 
whom three are Muhammadans ; the one in the 
centre is an Amir, and on his two sides are two 
Muhammadan gentlemen, who look like scholars 

120 ';HE D1N-MLAHI 

and their white robes give them a Sufi colour. 
They may be two brothers from Gilan who arrived 
on the 20th year of the reign of Akbar Hakim 
Abul Path and Hakim Humam, both in high 
position at court at that time. The left hand man 
at the bottom is a Hindu and his looks are ex- 
ceedingly intelligent. He has a cap on his head 
and a pyjama on. Just next is a Hindu Raja 
with his Rajput head dress and a royal robe. 
On the other side the bottom man is beyond doubt 
a European as his complexion, training of hair 
and beard show. The profile of his forehead and 
the nose are peculiarly Roman. He is very likely 
Rudolf Aquaviva. He holds a fruit, possibly 
taken from the assortment on the floor. The 
serenity of his face and the devout expression of 
his eyes are characteristic of the man as has been 
represented in the contemporary accounts. 

Next to him is another man who is dressed 
in a robe which is characteristic of the Buddhist. 
Smith is of opinion that there was no Buddhist at the 
court of Akbar. Badauni says in his Mutakhabut 
Tawarikh that the Samans along with the BrahiUi'.is 
were responsible for an immense change in Akbar' s 
outlook. The Buddhist participation in the Ibadat 
Khana will be discussed in the next chapter in 
connection with ' the forces at work.' The cut of 
the face and the nose reveal a Mongolian type 
in this participant in the debates. ] 

1 For details of these pictures, see the Bombay British Royal Asiatic 
Society Journal, Vol. VIII. 1928. 

3. A religious discourse with Rudolf Aquaviva 

Reprinted from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch, 1928.] 



Section I The Sunnis at the Court of AT^bar 

By birth, Akbar was a Sunni. The Chogtai 
Turks had accepted Islam and that automatically 
put them into the Sunni fold. 1 The quarrel 
between Timur and Byezid regarding the surrender 
of Yusuf of Kharput was the occasion for the 
profession of Sunnism by Timur. 2 Indeed, this 
profession of Sunnism against the religion of Byezid 
was by no means actuated by any sense of religious 
belief. But what was a diplomatic move with Timur 
became a religious association with his successors. 
When Babar was placed between the Sunni 
supremacy of the Khalifa of Rum and the Shia 
domination of the Shah of Persia, he was forced to 
accept the latter, but this profession was by no 
means a matter of faith. As soon as Babar found 
o^nprtunity, he turned away from Shiaism. 
Humayun continued his father's faith, and at the 
time Akbar was born, Humayun was by faith and 
ritual a Sunni. 

But Humayun also had to accept the Shia-i- 
Taj from Shah Ismail ; it was purely a call of 

1 Titus, Indian Islam, on Khilafat pretensions. 

2 J.R.A.S., 1924, p. 574. 

16 I280B 


necessity, f His family remained strongly attached 
to the Sunni creed. ' This anti-Shia feeling in the 
harem was to a certain extent responsible for 
the sudden fall of Bairam. n After the fall of 
Bairam, Sunnism was again revived. The Sadrs-us- 
sudur that were appointed were all Sunnis. 4 The 
law that was followed in the state was interpreted 
according to the Sunni doctors like the Sadr-us- 
sudur Abdu-n Nabi and Mukhdum-ul- Mulk 
Abdulla Sultanpuri. Both were staunch Sunnis 
and were highly learned in Islamic law and 
traditions. Abdu-n Nabi was the son of Shaikh 
Abdul Quddos of Kango. He had journeyed to 
Mecca several times. His influence on Akbar was 
so great that the entire endowments and pensions 
were left in his charge and he distributed them 
only to the Sunnis with a lavish hand, to which 
Akbar did not object. Akbar offered the usual 
Namaj (prayer), Ramjan (Fast), Zakat (Charity), and 
pilgrimage to Ajmer. Akbar, in his unbounded 
^devotion to Abdu-n Nabi, used to bring and 
unlace the shoes and took lessons from him in 
the Quran and Hadis. r> Abdulla Sultanpuri of 
the tribe of Ansur was a great scholar. He 
received from Humayun the title of Mukhdum-ul- 
Mulk, * most respected of the state, * and was 
in charge of the judicial departrpent of the state. 

3 J.R.A.S., 1924, pp. 600-01; Smith, p. 43; Cambridge History of 
India, II. 

* For a list of Sadrs, see Blochmann, p. 272. 
5 Badauni, HI, p. 127. 


Badauni says, " owing to his exertions many 
heretics and schismatics went to the place prepared 
tor them." JLjnder the influence of the Sunni 
Sadr and Sunni Qazi the whole theocratic side 
of the state ran on purely Sunni basis. 

This was the time when in and outside India 
there were many claimants to the dignity of the 
Mehdi, whom the Sunnis looked upon as im- 
postors . The Sunnis looked upon these Mehdi 
claimants as invaders and destroyers of faith 
and their persecution grew bitter in proportion 
to the progress the Mehdists made. To defend 
their century-old traditions and interpretations 
which they took as the citadel of their faith, the 
Sunni Ulama opposed all sorts of innovations, 
actual or imaginary, and religiously guarded 
against them. Akbar, in his usual impressionable- 
ness and faith, became a silent or active party to 
these persecutions. The peculiar mentality of 
Akbar during this period of his life has been 
well illustrated in Akbar 's refusal to see the face 
of Faizi who had been branded an apostate on 
the* eve of his Chitor expedition, though Akbar was 
extremely delighted to hear of his literary merits. 
The story of the persecution of the famous 
Shaikh Mubarak and his sons are well known in 
history. 7 

Badauni himself admitted that once he escaped 

6 See Darmesteter, for particulais of the Mehdi movement. 
1 Blochmann, p. 190. 


death simply because ' he differed from Mukhdum- 
ul-Mulk in his appreciation of an author.' 8 
When the Ibadat Khana was started, it was 
reserved only for the Sunnis. Indeed, it would 
be interesting to know the reasons that led to 
the fall of these two pillars of the state. 

We have already narrated in our previous chapters 
how the Sadr Abdu-n Nabi and Mukhdum-ul-Mulk 
Abdulla Sultanpuri, in course of their discussions, 
behaved in a most undignified manner and Akbar 
had to caution them with a view to mending their 
conduct. 9 I The discovery of the Sadr's real 
character, in an unguarded moment of their quarrel, 
caused a good deal of annoyance to Akbar jj The 
pride of the Sunni Mullas had necessitated 
Akbar 's bringing in scholars like Ibrahim Sarhindi 
and Abul Fazal andBadauni to 'break their pride.' 10 
The questions of marriage and pilgrimage proved 
that decisions were given by the Sunni Ulama not 
from the religious point but from motives of self-inter- 
est. By the murder of the Mathura Brahmin 11 the 
Sadr had transgressed a very important royal prero- - 
gative. The revenue arrangements and survey of 
lands had proved that the Qazis were guilty of taking 
bribes at the sacrifice of the governmental interests. 12 
The redistribution of the Sayurghal lands had 

Bad. HI, pp. 114.16. 

9 Bad. II, p. 205. 

W J.R.A.S., 1862- Biochmann's article on Badauni. 

11 Bad. III. p. 128. 

11 Blochmann, Ain. 19, pp. 268-70. 


exposed the worst side of the character of Abdu-n 
Nabi. After the discussion of the marriage ques- 
tion, it was decided according to the advice of 
Badauni that decisions on marriage could be given 
according to any of the Four Laws. 13 Some 
Sunni Qazis were transferred from one place to 
another. Badauni says, ' from this time the 
seed of discontent was sown.' "The difference 
amongst Ulama of whom one would pronounce a 
thing as unlawful and another by some process of 
argument would pronounce the very same thing 
lawful, became to His Majesty another cause of 
unbelief/' 14 .Badauni had more than once admit- 
ted that the Mullas had fallen away from the 
proud dignity which they held previously, by their 
nefarious conduct. Mirza Aziz Koka, who was a 
staunch Sunni and who had refused to appear 
before Akbar 'with his face shaved,' went to Mecca, 
only to come back disgusted with the Shaikhs and 
Ulama for their irreligious conduct* The Mullas 
were very much upset when Akbar allowed the 
Shias to attend the Ibadat Khana and their 
anger was kindled all the more when he threw 
the gate of Ibadat Khana open to non-Muslims. 
They could not reconcile themselves to the idea of 
Akbar 's discussing the question of faith and religion 
with the Kaffirs. They felt themselves humiliated 
and injured. Further the distribution of lands and 

13 Bad. II, pp. 212-13. 
" Bad. Ill, p. 131, footnote*. 


revenue by a Hindu Wazir, Todar Mai, was too 
much for them. 15 So^out of disgust and from a 
spirit of vengeance and self-interest, the Ulama 
joined the rebellion in BengaJ. After the discovery 
of the Bengal rebellion and the Mulla participation 
in it, attempts were made to eradicate the causes 
of future rebellions, and naturally the measures 
adopted turned primarily against the Sunni Mullas 
who had figured prominently in that conspiracy. 
Akbar found the existence of so powerful 
a dignitary like that of the Imperial Sadr, having 
religious control over the whole of the empire, too 
dangerous ; so he abolished the post of the Sadr 
and divided the Empire into six provincial Sadrs. 1G 
Abdu-n Nabi was sent to Mecca with Rs. 70,000 ; 
on his return, when asked to submit an account, 
which he could not or did not, he was put into 
prison. A few days after, he was found strangled 
by a mob. 17 

These were the Sunni Ulama who were so 
much against Akbar. The whole of our third and 
fourth chapters had been devoted to show the 
religious side of that great Emperor and his gradual 
turning away from the Sunni Ulama. Of course, 
the Sunni Ulama would not have been so much 
against Akbar, but for the fact that their personal 
interests had been affected, especially by the 

!5 Bad., Chapter, IV. 

Smith, Akbar, p. 358. For Sadrs, see Central Structure of the 
Mughal Empire by Ibn Husan, pp. 265-66. 
W Blochmann, p. 273. 


transference of the sentence of death to the Em- 
peror, by cutting down their religious endowments 
and by the dismissal of many Qazis. 

So far as Badauni was concerned, we shall try to 
discuss in a subsequent chapter of our treatise that 
the fountain of his venom against Akbar lay in his 
sense of wrong that his merits had not been suffi- 
ciently recognised, while his college fellows like 
Faizi and Fazl had risen so high. Similarly, per- 
sonal motives explain much of the vituperations 
levelled against Akbar by the Sunni Mullas, as 
would be found in the despatches of the Christian 
Fathers. If Akbar was driven away from the 
Sunni fold, it was not Akbar s fault but that of the 
Sunnis. Akbar began his Ibadat Khana with high 
hopes and the beginning offered great promise. 
But their misreading of the liberal tendencies of 
the great Central Asian, their stubborn opposition 
to the eclectic tendencies of the age as manifested 
in Akbar, and their misinterpretations of the 
innate Sufi tendencies of Akbar 's mind came into 
operation to destroy that great hope, with all its 
inevitable consequences . 

Section II The Shias at the Court of Al^bar 

The two main groups into which Islam is 
divided, are the Sunnis and the Shias. 1 Without 

1 Shias are the followers of Ali, the husband of Fatima, daughter 
of the Prophet. According to the Shias, Ali was the legitimate Khalifa 


entering into the theological differences between 
the Shia and Sunni creeds, we would only tell 
our reader that the difference is really very acute. 
The difference would never be bridged over unless 
there is some radical change in the conception of 
the fundamentals of Islam. The Shias never 
accepted the first three Khalifas (Khulufa-e-Rashe- 
din), neither the Ommiyads, nor the Abbasids, nor 
the Osmanalis though they controlled the K'aba and 
Mecca. The Khalifa, holding the holy places of 
Islam, was the accredited leader of Sunni Islam. 
The Shia Sultans of Persia never willingly submit- 
ted to religious sovereignty of the Khalifa. In fact, 
race, culture, geography and tradition separated 
the Arabs from the Persians so widely that only 
a bond of religion, without any common head, 
was not enough to weld them into one nation. 
Temporary union there had perforce been between 
Arabia and Persia but that was the unity of the 
Mongols and the Chinese. During the reign of 
Safavi dynasty, when a succession of strong rulers 
occupied the throne of Persia, we find them 

but he was superseded by Abu Bakr, Omar and Osman. They hold that 
the Khelafat should devolve in the family of the Prophet by selection ; 
if by election, it must be confined to the family, for ' in the family of 
the Prophet no unworthy can be born.' According to them, the real 
truth is to be found not in the lines of the Quran but between the lines of 
the Quran. The secret of Islam was told to Imam Aii. Ali told it to 
Hasan, Zafar Sadiq, Musa Qasim, Ali Musa Raza, Muhammad Taqi, 
Hasan, They believe that there will be a resurrection when the tru< 
Imam would come out. 


extending their religious supremacy even over the 
Timurid kings of Samarkand and Hindustan. 
As we have already pointed out, Babar and 
Humayun J had to accept, willingly or unwillingly, 
the Shia supremacy of the Persian Sultans. This 
claim of the Persian Sultans continued till a very 
late period of Indian history. 5 During his stay 
at the court of Shah Tahmasp in Persia, Huma- 
yun's family had to observe the customs of the 
Shias. His wife Hamida Banu Begum was a 
Persian lady of Transoxiana, daughter of the Persian 
Sufi Shaikh, Ali Akbar Jami. His brother-in-law 
was Bairanr Khan, 1 a staunch and orthodox Shia. 
This contiguity of geography and family associa- 
tion with the Shias had, of coarse, unconsciously 
moulded, whatever may be the extent, the thought 
process of Akbar. Akbar's childhood had passed 
in the midst of ths folklore and traditions of that 
mystic land ; the names of her heroic and legendary 
kings had cast their magic spell on the young and 
impressionable mind of that Indian Boy. When 
he came to Hindustan along with Humayun and 
Bairam, he continued to be under the Shia suzerain- 
ty of the Persian monarch, whose officials or deputies 

2 W. Erskine, Vol. II, p. 275. From Hasan to Zainul Abedin there 
were twelve such, Muhammad Baqir, Akbari and Abu Qasim. After 
that there has been no Imam and the Khelafat is now vacant. 

3 Political Theory of the Indian Mutiny by Buckler, p. 83, note I ; 
Cambridge History of India, Vol. II, PP . 403-04, 411-12, 415-16. 

4 Sultana Salima, the wife of Bairam, was the daughter and Gulrukh 
Begum, a daughter of Babar. 

17 1280B 


they were. When Akbar became a Padsha in 
1556, he was under the virtual tutelage of Bairam, 
whose attachment to the Shia Sultan of Persia was 
very pronounced. During the regency of Bairam, 
the whole religious administration of Hindustan 
ran on Shia lines and the Sadr-us-Sudur was a 
Shia Maulana named Shaikh Gudai. 5 Akbar 's 
religious tendencies were very well marked in that 
early age and he used to visit the house of Shaikh 
Gudai and take lessons from him in the Quran 
and the Hadis. The early Shia influence on himj 
was so pronounced that he named his first two 
sons Hasan and Husain, the two heroes of the 
Shias. When the story of the ungrudging patron- 
age of Akbar to poets, painters, musicians, and 
caligraphists travelled beyond Hindustan, many 
Persians found their home in Hindustan b and 
Akbar always offered a cordial welcome to the men 
of intellect, for he believed that intellect has no 
caste. Maulana Shibli gives a list of 51 poets 
from Persia, and Badauni mentions no less than 
1 50 and Sprenger makes a still longer list. 

The fall of Bairam was the signal for the loss 
of the Shia supremacy of Persia for all practical 
purposes though their pretensions about India conti- 
nued. 7 With the fall of Bairam, his Shia Shaikh, 
Gudai, also fell from power. His place was 

5 For Shaikh Gudai's life, see Badauni, Vol. Ill, p. 122. 

6 See Bad., Vol. II, p. 337. 

7 J.R.A.S., 1924, p. 604. 


supplanted by a Sunni Sadr and a great change 
was effected in the theocratic side of the state and 
a period of intolerance, orthodoxy and persecution 
followed. Mukhdum-ul-Mulk Abdulla Sultanpuri 
who was the chief Qazi of the state was responsible 
for an immense number of deaths of the non- 
Sunnis and the age-long feud between the Shias 
and the Sunnis were all the more accentuated by the 
overwhelming power entrusted into the hands of 
the Sunni Ulama of the state. Akbar, in his usual 
faith in the creed of the Sadr and Qazi of the 
state, completely lost himself and was often a silent 
party to those persecutions, as we have found in his 
order for the arrest of Shaikh Mubarak when he 
was represented to be a Mehdi. 8 

During the supremacy of the Sunni creed (1564- 
78) in the state, the position of the Shias was any- 
thing but satisfactory. They were not allowed to 
participate in the functions of the state religion, 
and the Ibadat Khana was not open to them. But 
it was the problem of marriage in course of the 
Ibadat Khana discussions that brought the Shias 
into prominence as their lawyer Imam Malik gave 
direct sanction to the Mu'tah marriage. When the 
Sunni Mullas failed to satisfy Akbar, he wanted 
to know what the other schools had to say in the 
matter. This accounts for the favourable reception 
of the three Shia brothers, especially Hakim Abul 

Bad., Vol. HI, P. 118: 


Path, 9 Hakim Humayun 10 and Hakim Nuruddin 11 
who came from Gilan near the Caspian Sea. 
These three Ulama not only attracted the attention of 
Akbar by their theological learning but Akbar had 
high admiration for them as men. The eldest of 
them, Abul Path, by means of his winning address, 
soon obtained great influence with the Emperor 
though Badauni would like his readers to believe 
that ' ' Abul Path flattered him openly and comply- 
ing with him in all questions of religion and faith 
and even going in advance of him, so that he was 
admitted as an intimate companion of His Majesty." 
Ultimately this Abul Fath got the dignity of a 
commander of a thousand and had power of a 
Vakil, an unusual dignity for a commander of a 
thousand. Badauni says, " he was one of those 
principal influences that led Akbar away from 
Islam/' Hakim Humayun was so great a friend 
of Akbar that he often said that he did not relish 
his meals if Humayun was absent. 12 

A very clever Shia, Say id Nurulla, is mention- 
ed along with the three Gilani brothers. He was 
appointed as Qazi-ul-Qazzat of Lahore on. the 

9 Abul Fath.-Blochmann, p. 424; Bad., Vol. II, p. 211, Vol. Ill, 
p. 233. 

10 Hakim Humayun Blochmann, p. 474. 

" For Nuruddin, see Bad., Vol. II, p. 214, Vol. Ill, p. 233; Bloch- 
mann. Titus mistakes Nuruddin as Hakim Humam ; but, in fact, 
Hakim Humam was the name adopted by Hakim Humayun and he was 
not a different person. See Bad., Vol. II, p. 214; Blochmann, p. 474, 
No. 205. 

Blochmann, p, 474. 


recommendation of Abul Fath. n He wrote a 
very famous book at Lahore in defence of Shia 
doctrines Majlis-ul-Muminin. Another impor- 
tant Shia is mentioned in connection with the reign 
of Akbar both in politics and in religion ; it was 
Mulla Mahammad Yazdi. Badauni tells us, 
" Yazdi by attaching himself to the Emperor com- 
menced openly to revile the Sahabis (companions 
of the Prophet) and told queer stories about them 
and tried hard to make him a Shia." Further 
Badauni remarked that Yazdi along with Birbar, 
Abul Fazl and Hakim Abul Fath successfully 
turned the Emperor away from Islam. 14 The 
contribution of that Persian scholar in the great 
metamorphosis was really tremendous ; and the 
wide liberalism which was the greatest legacy of 
Akbar to Indian Muslim thought was to a large 
extent due to his contact with the Shias and the 
Persians. Accepting the three fundamental prin- 
ciples of Islam, these Shias struck at the very root 
of the Sunni beliefs, in traditions and decisions 
generally. It was an age of scholasticism, of 
doubts, of reason ; and the Persian schoolmen, in a 
spirit of enquiry and no less in a spirit of venom, 
assailed the very citadel of Sunni belief. The 
attack made by the non-Muslims might be inter- 

13 Nurulla was appointed a Qazi-ul-Qazzat at Lahore on condi- 
tion that he would be allowed to decide the cases according to any of 
the four laws sanctioned in Islam unthinkable at the time of 
Mukhdum-ul-Mulk Abdulla Sultanpuri or Sadr-us-Sudur Abdu-n Nabi. 

i* Bad.. Vol. VI, p. 214. 


preted as having been inspired by an ignorance of 
Islam or by prejudice; but when directed by one 
within its fold, it is more subtle, more direct and 
more violent. A careful study of Ibadat Khana 
in the light of Mohsin Fani proves that inspira- 
tion, prophet-ship and miracles of prophets 
and of saints in general were disbelieved by 
Akbar as a result of the controversy of Shias 
and Sunnis. 35 He became convinced that a believer 
in Islam might remain Muslim even if he would 
not put implicit faith in the minute details of the 
Quran as demanded by the Mullas. The infallibil- 
ity of the Hadis and the Fiqh had already been 
shaken by the Sunni discussions and disunions 
in the early part of the Ibadat Khana ; now that the 
Shias joined it, he could see through the ignorance 
of the Mullas, their bigotry and their unchangeability, 
and Akbar decided to put a stop to the unquestion- 
ed submission to everything past in the name of 
religion alone. The result was the formation of 
the famous "Forty," 10 'who vowed to decide 
things according to reason only (Chihil Tanan).' 
But inspite of this new spirit owing to the influence 
of the learned Shias, Akbar was by no means a 
Shia ; he liked the Shias because of the freedom of 
their intellect, because of their polish, and last but 
not the least, because of their dignified manners 
amongst all nations that were represented in the 

*5 See Appendix A to Chapter IV, pp. 97-1 15 
16 Bad., Vol. II, p. 318. 


Ibadat Khana. He adopted some of the Persian 
festivals not because he hated Islam but because it 
was natural in the days of eclecticism. He adopted 
them as he had adopted some Central Asian Turki 
customs and some festivals of the Hindus. 17 The 
insinuation of Badauni that the non-Sunni festivities 
were introduced in order to insult Islam, is due to 
wilful misrepresentation and distortion of facts to 
represent him in the role of an apostate. 

Section III The Hindus at the Court of Al^bar 

To start with, Akbar 's position was very critical, 
placed as he had been between the high-handed- 
ness of the sturdy Bairam Khan and the intrigues 
of the wily Maham Anaga and her nefarious son, 
Adam Khan. 1 To counteract the influence of 
Bairam, he had to court the good grace of the 
petticoat, but he could not trust either. So he 
was in need of an alliance somewhere else and he 
availed himself of the first opportunity by entering 
into a matrimonial alliance with Behari Mai of 
Amber in 1562, while he was hardly a boy of nine- 
teen. Of course, by the time Babar had arrived in 

17 In a subsequent chapter, we propose to discuss the different festi- 
vals and customs that Akbar inaugurated and point out their historical 

1 Smith's suggestion is that the intrigues of the harem wete due to 
the " pro-Moghul feeling " against Shia Bairam. Buckler also holds 
a similar view. Behind this pro-Mughal feeling, was the ambition of 
Adam Khan engineered by Maham Anaga, foster-mother of Akbar. 


Hindustan, he found that the officers of the revenue 
department, the merchants and the artisians were all 
Hindus. As years rolled by, Akbar came to realise 
that against the Pathan spirit of stubbornness and 
the Turki tendency of insubordination, the Hindu 
alliance had stood him in good stead. Dictated 
by his foresight and by a spirit of toleration and fair 
play as taught by his teacher Abdul Latif of Persia 
(Sulh-i-kul policy), 2 he experimented upon the 
Muslim system of Jezia in 1564. As a Muslim 
sovereign with the tradition of Indian Islamic rule, 
it was of course sacrilegious to remit dues 5 payable 
by the unbelievers. His courage of conviction stood 
him in good stead and he attempted that bold 
experiment. 1 

With Akbar the dicta were, "recognise merit 
wherever ye find it," "right man in the right 
place," " intellect is not the monopoly of the 
believers." He unhesitatingly chose Rajput princes 
as his generals and raised Tansen (originally a 
Hindu) to be the first musician of the court. Daswa 
Nath, son of a Kahar (palanquin bearer), was appoint- 
ed the first painter of his court ; Mahadev became 
the first physician and Chandrasen the first surgeon. 
His court was full of the learned Hindus like Madhu 

2 Reference may be made to the instruction of Babar to Humayun 
advising him how to deal with the Hindus. Dr. Sayyed Muhammad, 
in the Indian Review, August, 1923. 

3 See Shibli's Moqalat-i-Shibli, Vol. 1 , and al Jezia by the same author. 
* The suggestion that Jezia was stopped at the instance of his Hindu 

wife has little truth behind it. 


Saraswati and Ram Tirtha. fl Amongst the famous 
Nine Jewels of his court no less than four were 
Hindus/' The greatness of the Indian Timurid 
Empire, in whatever direction we take it art, litera- 
ture, music, sculpture, painting, organisation, 
government and army was as much due to the 
Hindu contribution as to the Imperial patronage. 
But the orthodox section of the state Mullas could 
not and did not like idea of equal treatment between 
the believers and the non-believers. 7 

It must be said to the credit of Akbar that, even 
during the period of Sunni influence under the 
regime of Sadr and Mukhdum, his orthodoxy and 
patronage for the Sunni creed did not degenerate 
into anti- Hindu prejudice in the field of politics. 
Discrimination was made amongst the believers of 
the faith and persecution was reserved for the 

5 See Appendix A at the end of this chapter. 

6 Names of Nine Jewels Abdu-r Rahim, Raja Todar Mai, Man Singh, 
Birbal, Taiisen, Hakim Humam, Mulla Do-Piyaja f fictitious?), Abul Fazl, 
Faizi. Mulln Do-Piyaja (according to Mr. P. Chowdhury) is not support- 
ed by a painting that exists in the library of Lala Sri Ramdas at Delhi 
where.the name of Do-Piyaja is absent and that of one Abul Hasan is 
mentioned and in the place of Taiisen, the name of Miyan Kokultash 
occurs. Possibly the picture was drawn after Tansen's death and hence 
his absence. The names of the Jewels are told differently ; that is due to 
the fact that all members might not be present at all times in the court. 
So the circle of Gems contained different men at different times. 

7 When Todar Mai, a very tried officer of Sher Shah, was appointed 
Finance Minister, the Muslim grandees petitioned against the appoint- 
ment and were only silenced by Akbar's snub (Kennedy Vol. I, p. 206.), 
" Have you not appointed in your estate the Hindus in the department 
of accounts ? " 



non-Sunni believers of Islam though Hindus suffer- 
ed the customary minor disabilities. 

During the first period of the Ibadat Khana, the 
Hall was not open to Hindus and was confined 
to Sunni Muslims only, who used to say their 
prayers with the Emperor. In the second period, 
the other sects of the Faith were invited to dis 
cussions. It was only during the last period 
when the ever expanding mind of Akbar, not satis- 
fied with the ever circumscribed limits of the sects 
of Islam, wanted to quench his thirst for knowledge 
* by drinking at the fountain of the savants of 
all climes,' as dreamt by Abul Fazl that the 
Hindus were admitted into the Ibadat Khana along 
with representatives of other Faiths. 

The Books of the Hindus were translated. Faizi 
translated Yoga- Vashishta, Lilavati, Nala-Damayanti 
and Batrish Singhasana ; Haji Ibrahim Sarhindi 
translated the Atharva Veda ; Mulla Sheri took up 
Hari-Vansha ; the Ramayana and the Mahabharata 
were jointly translated by a group of eminent scholars 
including Akbar himself. He called many other 
Hindu learned men to his court and we find mention 
of Madhu Saraswati, Madhusudan, Narayan Misra, 
Narayan Hariji Sur, Damodar Bhatta, Ram Tirtha, 
Narasingh, Paramindra and Aditya. These pandits 
were counted amongst " the first class " in Akbar's 
court " who " as Abul Fazl puts it, " in the light of 
His Majesty's perfection, perceived the mysteries of 
the external and internal, and in their understanding 


and breadth of their views fully comprehend both 
realms of thought and acknowledge to have received 
their spiritual power from the throne of His Majesty. ' ' 
Amongst other Hindus who had adorned the court 
of Akbar, we find Ram Bhadra, Jadrup, Narayan, 
Madhu Bhatta, Sri Bhatta, Basudev Misra, Bidya 
Nibas, Gopi Nath and Bhagirath Bhattacharyya. 8 

The stories that are current in Northern India 
often tell very interesting things about Akbar's con- 
nection with Tulsidas, Dadu and Surdas. Tulsidas 
is said to have been requested by Akbar to show 
some of his miracles but Tulsidas humbly sub- 
mitted that he had no miracles to show and he was 
an ordinary devotee of Ramchandra. Akbar had 
heard so many things about the miracles of Tulsidas 
that he became greatly disappointed and ordered that 
Tulsidas should be put into prison till he showed a 
miracle. Tulsidas in prison began to repeat the name 
of Ram and Hanuman. It is said that monkeys, the 
descendants of Hanuman, the famous devotee of 
Ramchandra, infested the houses of Agra and Sikri, 
and the people were so much troubled by the 
incursions of the monkeys that they believed it to be 
due to sympathy of the monkeys with Tulsidas, a 
fellow devotee of their ancestor Hanuman. Every- 
body interpreted the affair to be a miracle of Tulsi- 
das. Thereupon the Emperor released Tulsidas 
from the prison and gave a general order that 

8 Ain-i-Akbari. Ain No. 30, Blochmann, pp. 537-47. 


monkeys should not be killed in the Empire. And 
the tradition is still observed in Hindu India. 9 

Akbar is said to have conversed with Dadu for 
40 days and was much delighted to see the devo- 
tional side of the saint. 10 The details of the conver- 
sation are known to historians. 

Surdas, that blind saint of India whose mystic 
songs (dohas) are still a joy to millions of Hindus, 
had a long interview with Akbar and was much 
liked by him for his music. Akbar appreciated 
merit, and he knew how to pick it up and recog- 
nise it. 11 

Badauni mentioned that onePurshotham, 12 who 
had written a commentary on the book ' Khirad 
afza, ' had a long private interview with him and 
he had asked him to invent particular names for 
all things in existence. Another Brahmin named 
Devi, who was one of the interpreters of the 
Mahabharata, " was pulled up the wall of the castle 
sitting on a charpai 3;j till he arrived near a balcony, 
which the emperor had made his bed-chamber." 
While thus suspended he instructed His Majesty 
in the secrets and legends of Hinduism, in- the 

9 Grieraon, notes on Tulsidas, p. 61. 

Ramtanu Lahiri Leclures, C. U., 1920. K. M. Sen says that Dadu 
was a Muslim, and his real name was Dayood. 
U Bharatbarsha, 1338 B. S. 

12 Badauni wrongly wrote ' Puruko tham,' Vol. II, p 265. 

13 Charpai Indian cot. We find in Badauni reference to two other 
men raised in ' Charpai ' and they gave to Akbar the seciets of their 


process of worshipping idol, the fire, the sun and the 
stars and of revering the chief gods of the unbe- 
livers, such as Brahma, Mahadev, Vishnu, Krishna, 
Ram and Mahamaya. His Majesty, on hearing 
further as to how much the people of the country 
prized their institutions, began to look upon them 
with affection. In the opinion of Badauni, Devi 
was responsible for Akbar's belief in the transmigra- 
tion of the soul. Jt Akbar was very much impress- 
ed by his conversation with Devi and ' ' not a day 
passed but a new fruit of this loathsome tree 
ripened into existence." 

He gave private interviews to many Hindu 
yogis and enquired of them the following : 

(a) The Hindu articles of faith. 

(fc) Their occupation. 

(c) The influence of pensiveness. 

(d) Their several practices and usages. 

(e) The power of being absent from body. 

(/) Alchemy and physiognomy of the Hindus. 
(g) The power of the omnipresence of the 

Through them, he believed that men might 
live for over a hundred years and followed some 
Hindu and Buddhist practices, which might pro- 
long his longevity. 

14 Bad., II, p 265 The idea t f the transmigration of the soul was 
one of the cardinal beliefs of some sects of Indian Sufis though quite 
against Islamic conception. 


Birbar, that ' accursed Birbar ' of Badauni, 15 
that ' hellish dog ' of Badauni, who had come 
to the court of Akbar in 980 A.H. (I 572-73 A.D.), 
was made Kabi Rai (the treasure of poets) 
for his talent in composing verses and satires, and 
he ' tried to persuade the Emperor to worship the 
Sun and Stars.' He said that " since the Sun gives 
light to all, ripens all grains, fruits and products 
of the earth, and supports the life of mankind, 
therefore, that luminary should be the object of 
worship and veneration ; and that the face should 
be turned towards the rising and not towards the 
setting Sun, which is the west 1G ; that man should 
venerate fire, water, stones and trees and all 
natural objects even down to cows and their dung ; 
that he should adopt the sectarian and Brahmani- 
cal thread." 

Several wise men at court confirmed what he 
said, by representing that " Sun was the greater 
light of the world and the benefactor of its inhabi- 
tants, the patron of Kings, and that Kings are 
his vice-regents. This was the cause of the 
worship paid to the Sun on the Naw-ruz-i-Jalali, 17 
and of his being induced to adopt that festival for 
the celebration of his accession to throne." 
Every day he used to put on clothes of that partl- 
16 Bad., II, p. 335. 

J 6 This turinpr away from the west has a sly icference to Akbar 's 
turning away from Islam whose sacred place is at Mecca to the west 
of Hindustan. 

17 Bad., II, pp. 203-5. 


cular colour which accords with that of the regnant 
planet of the day. 18 

The very presence of the Hindu wives in Akbar's 
harem was responsible for the introduction of 
many Hindu customs into the Chogtai harem. 
The Hindu wives of the Muslims were all dead 
to the family of their fathers for all practical pur- 
poses. They could not go back to their fathers, 
nor were there any social relations between the 
two families. The Hindu wives were given 
Muslim names and their children were named 
after their fathers. They were not burnt but 
were buried in Muslim fashion and their tombs 
exist in many places. But inspite of their changed 
environments, the family customs and the social 
psychology of the ladies could not be altered so 
easily. The Hindu princesses in the harem were 
allowed to follow their own socio-religious 
customs. Yodha Bai was allowed to have her own 
Hindu cook. The road connecting the Mahal of 
Yodha Bai and the appartment of the Emperor was 
entirely separate and could not be used by others 
and she had in her Mahal a Tulsi plant, a place 
for Horn and Yag (sacrifice and rituals). Brahmins 

18 Humayun did the same so far as the audience chamber was con- 
cerned. This belief in planets and their movements in shaping the destiny 
of man, is an old trait of the Turki-Mughal charactei. There was a 
belief in the family of Chengiz that, so long as they worshipped the stars 
and the planets, theirs was the ascendency ; they fell away from power 
and their proud position when they ceased to worship the planets and 
the stars Dabistan, Vol. II, p. 121, 


could be employed to perform her sacred duties. 
Generally the Emperor used to respect the Hindu 
ladies and held them in great esteem for their 
sweet devoted nature. Jahangir tells us in his 
Memoirs that Yodhpuri Begam could sacrifice her 
whole life for one hair of his. 19 Along with these 
ladies many Hindu customs entered the Muslim 
harems permanently. As for instance, during the 
marriage of Salim with the daughter of Raja 
Bhagwan Das, many Hindu customs were observed 
such as lighting the fire and strewing dried rice " on 
the litter. But it must be remembered that the 
freedom allowed to the Hindu wives was propor- 
tionate to the liberalism of the monarch concerned. 
In Akbar's time, it was the largest. 21 Akbar had 
from the beginning a high respect for the Hindus. 
He was the first of the house of Timur to be born 
in Hindustan. His birth in a Hindu house 
while his father was flying away from India as a 
fugitive when even his brothers were hostile, 
not to speak of other Muslims had a very 
wholesome influence on his life. If the father 
could not have any opportunity of showing his 
gratitude to his benefactor's race, the son had. At 

W Jehangirnama quoted by Smith p. 225. 

20 " Laj " dried and fried rice. Even at the time of Aurangzeb's 
marriage paddy, grass, light (Pradip) and husker were used in 
welcoming the bride. Bad , III, p. 352. (Anecdotes of Aurangzeb, 
by Jadunath Sarkar.) 

*1 For the Hindu wives of Akbar, see. J R.A.S., 1869, and for Hindu 
customs amongst Muslims, see Qanun-i-Islam by Herklots. 


the beginning of his reign while he was placed 
between the crackers by Bairam and Maham Anaga, 
it was the help of Behari Mai that carried him 
through. His long and varied experience had proved 
to him that Hindu help was essential in the admi- 
nistration of the land of the Hindus. Nearly 50% 
of Akbar 's army were manned by the Hindus and 
the revenue department was practically a monopoly 
of the Hindus ; so he could not be blind to the 
sentiments, traditions and psychology of such a 
major section of the state. He was fortunate 
enough to have the lesson of Sher Shah before him. 
Indeed, Sher Shah had only anticipated the advent 
of Akbar. Like a wise man, Akbar adjusted 
himself to the change of circumstances and regard- 
ed the Hindu princes as partners in the adminis- 
tration and not as mere subordinates. His empire 
was based on co-operation and mutul adjustment. 
In their blind fanaticism, the Mullas refused to 
understand Akbar and interdicted him as an 
apostate or as irreligious and even branded 
him as a Hindu. He was not blind to the faults 
of Hinduism as he was not blind to those of 
Islam. He did not unhesitatingly believe what the 
Hindus asked him to believe about their religion. 
He saw, he examined and he believed or rejected. 
Akbar's views on the Hindu conception of the 
doctrine of Incarnation was very excellently 
put through the mouth of the philosopher in 
course of the discussion at the Ibadat Khana, 
19 1783B 


" You first acknowledge one God and then you 
say that, having descended from his solitude, 
he assumed a great body; but God is not clothed 
with a body which belongs to contingency and 
tangible matter. In like manner, you attribute 
wives to your Gods. Vishnu, who, according to 
some, represent the Second person of the Divine 
Triad and according to others, is ackowledged as 
the supreme God, is said to have descended from 
His Station, and become incarnate at different times, 
in the forms of a fish, a boar, a tortoise and of 
men. When he was in the state of Rama, his 
wife was ravished from him. He was ignorant 
and acquired some knowledge by becoming the 
disciple of one among the sages of India, until he 
was freed from body; in the form of Krishna, 
he was addicted to lust and deceit of which you 
yourselves tell many stories. You state that in 
this incarnation, there was little of the wisdom of 
a supreme God and much of the corporal matter of 
Krishna; thus you compel mankind, who capable 
of justice are superior to all sorts of animals, to 
worship a boar, a tortoise, and you adore the form 
of a male organ as Mahadev, whom many 
acknowledge to be God, and the female organ as 
his wife. You seem not to know that irrational 
cannot be the creator of the rational ; that the 
one uncompounded is incompatible with division, 
and that plurality of the self -existent one is absurd. 
Finally by the worship of a mean object, no per- 


faction can accrue to the noble." 22 His spirit of free 
thinking, a legacy of his ancestral trait from Central 
Asia, led people to suspect that ' the Emperor was 
gentile ' (Hindu), which he was not. The reforms 
which he introduced amongst the Hindu commu- 
nity sufficently illustrate the breadth of his view and 
the wisdom of his conception. In his restrictions, 
which he put on the unrestricted burning of 
Hindu widows, is reflected the human side of his 
character, and in him we anticipate a philan- 
thropist like Lord William Bentinck 250 years 
after. He encouraged the marriage of the Hindu 
widows, especially of those whose marriage 
had not been consummated. Many Hindu festi- 
vals like ' Rakhi ' (thread) symbolising bond of 
unity and friendship and ' Dipabali ' (Dewali, the 
festival of lights) were followed with due eclat in 
the same way that he followed the custom of using 
horsetails like a Turk and the Quesek like a Zoro- 
astrian, and celebrated Christmas like a Christian. 
But inspite of all his social eclecticism and Hindu 
sympathies, he was nothing but a Muslim. 

Section IV The Zoroastrians at the Court 

During the acrimonious debates of the Ibadat 
Khana, Akbar was convinced that greatness was 
not the monopoly of any particular religion and 

22 Dabistan, I, pp. 73-74. 


higher truths might be found amongst all religions 
and peoples. He, therefore, invited reputed saints 
from all parts of India. As far back as in 1573, 
during the siege of Surat, when his army was 
encamped at Kankara Khari, he had made acquain- 
tance with Dastur Mahayarji Rana, the principal 
teacher of the Zoroastrians at Navasari, which was 
then the great centre of the Zoroastrian priesthood 
in India. The great knowledge of the Mobeds 
and Zoroastrian theologians was almost a proverb in 
Hindustan. Even Abul Fazl had, before he joined 
the court of Akbar, thought of sitting at the feet of 
the learned priests of the Zoroastrians and those 
learned in the Zend-Avesta. After 1 576, when the 
Ibadat Khana took its cosmopolitan form and, 
according to Falix Vayle, when it became the first 
parliament of religions in the world, Akbar invited 
the great theologians of Navasari, through his 
governor of Guzrat, Shahabuddin Khan, and 
Dastur Mahayarji Rana arrived at the court in 
1 578-79. He had long conversation with Akbar 
and Abul FazL 1 

The Emperor and his chronicler learnt from 
Dastur " the peculiar terms, ordinances and rites 

1 There is a very popular story in Guzrat regarding a miracle of 
Mahayarji Rana. By force of magic a Brahmin raised in the sky a 
metallic tray which resembled a second sun. Mahayarji Rana is said to 
have brought down the artificial sun by means of his prayers and 
incantation. Akbar was much surprised at this miracle. 

There are innumerable ballads in local dialects of Guzrat concerning 
this story. 


and ceremonies of the Zoroastrian creed above 
all the virtues of the worship of the sun and fire." 
Influence of Dastur Mahayarji Rana was so pro- 
found that he is regarded by his fellow Zoroas- 
trians to have converted the Emperor to Zoroas- 
trianism. But Prof. Karkaria, at a meeting of the 
Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay on the 8th of 
August, 1896, asserted that it was not Dastur 
Mahayarji Rana nor the Indian Zoroastrians that 
changed the mind of Akbar, but it was Ardeshir 
and the Persian Zoroastrians that were responsible 
for the leaning of Akbar towards the Zoroastrian 

2 Prof. Karkaria's view was that the Emperor was not satisfied 
with Dastur Mahayarji Rana and he invited Ardesir of Persia 
and this Persian Ardesir was responsible for all the changes in 
Akbar. He even doubts if any Mahayarji Rana ever visited the 
court of Akbar. But Dr Modi, in his famous article in the 
Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 
XXI, p. 69, cleared the doubts raised by Prof Karkaria and 
profusely quoted from contemporary Muslim authors like Badauni 
(Vol. 11, p. 261) and Abul FazHAin., Vol. I, p 184> and from the 
writings in the 16th-century Parsee Prayer Books (Tansen's Songb, 
Marathi Ballads, Hindi Dohas) to show that Mahayarji actually visited 
the court of 'Akbar in 1578-79 and influenced Akbar's religious 
practices. Later books like Momalik-i-Hind by Golam Bihist (1782) 
says," several infidel and impious Parsees who were devoted to the 
magic*' were responsible for leading Akbar away from Islam. The 
Zoroastrians of Guzrat claimed that Akbar had been converted to 
their creed and rendered eminent services to their religion, for which 
his name has been associated in Parsee Prayers along with the names 
of Ardeshir Bagchan (Artaxerxes of the Greeks) Badauni and Abul 
Fazl say that Akbar had adopted some Parsee rites in 1580-81 and 
this was due to the existence of the Parsees at the court of Akbar at 
that period. On the other hand, Ardeshir of Persia came to the court 
of Akbar in 1592. It is absurd that Akbar's adoption of Zoroastrian 
practices in 1581-82 should be due to the influence of one who visited 


cult. 2 But the arguments advanced by Prof. 
Karkaria are too shallow to warrant such a sugges- 
tion. Under the influence of the Navasari Mobed, 
the Emperor was gradually drawn towards the 
ceremonies of the Zoroastrians. 

Another, Azar Kaivan, with his disciples was 
also mentioned between the years 1681 and 1685. 
He had long conversation with the Emperor. His 
headquarters were at Patna. 3 Kaikobad, son of 
Dastur Mahay arji Rana, visited Akbar and made 
a favourable impression on the Emperor. 4 Though 
the people of Persia had accepted the Faith of 
Arabia, they still clung to their ancient ceremonies 
and festivities of Iran in whose monarchies they 
glorified. In -the land of Iran, Akbar had, in his 
early days, developed an unconscious love for the 
mystics and the mysterious festivities of the country 
where he had drunk deep in the folklore of the 
land. Moreover, the Central Asian cult of fire, sun 
and star worship was in the vein of Akbar and every 
Turk, whether he is a Musalman, a Christian, a 
Laotzian or a Buddhist, has a secret love for the 

the court ten years after. Moreover this Ardeshir did not come to 
India to attend any religious discussions which were almost closed by 
that time ; but he was sent by Shah Abbas to assist Mir Jamaluddin 
in his composition of a work called Ferang-i-Jehangiri. There is no 
truth in Karkaria's suggestion that Ma hay arji Rana did not visit Akbar's 
court. On the other hand, the Farman granting 200 bighas of land to 
the family definitely proves the visit of Mahayarji to the Emperor's 

3 Institute of Cama Magazine, Vols. 20-21. 

* /bid. Vols. 12-14. 


manners of the cradle of his race.* When the 
Zoroastrian Mobeds wanted to propound to Akbar the 
glory of the sun, fire and star worship, they found 
in Akbar a congenial and willing hearer. Further, 
there was Birbal, Emperor's fiiend, with his cult of 
fire. There were the Hindu ladies in the harem 
with their ' Horn ' and ' sacrifices ' to the fire. 6 
Gladly Akbar accepted some of the festivals of the 
Christians in 1 580-8 1 , the Persian festivals and 
Persian holy days entered into the royal list of holi- 
days, and he adopted a calendar according to the 
manner of theZoroastrians. In 1589, he introduced 
the Solar Era, Tarkh-i-llahi, as ' he had now been 
converted to sun and star worship. ' T But really 
speaking, there is no causal connection between the 

5 Even Kamal Pasha intended the revival of ancient Turki names 
manners and festivals in the dominions of Ankara. 

6 Almost every great man of ancient times worshipped one of the 
stars. Thus Moses worshipped the Saturn, therefore Saturday is holy 
day for the Jews. Jesus worshipped the Sun, " on which account 
Sunday is sanctified by him and finally his soul united with the Sun.'* 
So the Christians hold Sunday as holy " Muhammad held Venus in 
veneration, wherefore he fixed Friday a sacred day." Yudhisthir also 
worshipped the Sun and all his greatness was due to that Luminary. 
Sauras (followers of the Sun) are a sect cf the Hindu. King Ferosh of 
Persians was threat believer of the Solar cult. Akhetatan of Egypt was a 
fanatical worshipper of the Sun, the life giving force.' Chengiz Khan 
and his family felt that their greatness was due to the worship of the 
Stars and the Luminaries For details, see Dabistan, Vol. II, pp. 105-21. 

7 Tarikh-i-Ilahi was introduced at the instance of Mir Jamaluddin. 
In his recent work on Tarikh-i-Ilahi by Mr. Brendy (Poona, 1933), the 
political and financial aspects of the Era have been discussed It has 
hardly any connection with the religion. The Zoroastrian influence was 
at its highest during the years 1579-85 whereas the Era was introduced 
in 1589 


Sun cult of Akbar and the Tarikhi-IIahi. He order- 
ed, according to the Parsee custom, " the fire to be 
lit up and never to be extinguished." He began to 
wear robes of different colours on different days of 
the week according to the position of the stars in 
the sky. 8 He took the girdle and ring of 9 the 
Parsee Mobeds called ' Quseke ' and * Zunnar.' 
" Akbar began to prostrate himself in public 
before the Fire and before the Sun and when the 
lamps were lighted in the evening the whole court 
was required to rise up respectfully." 10 The pro- 
stration of Akbar before the Sun, the lighting of 
Fire inside the harem, 1] the acceptance of the girdle 
and ring, the wearing of coloured dress according 
to the days of the week, the introduction of Parsee 
festivals, the adoption of the Solar Era with ancient 
Parsee names, have all been interpreted as signs 
of Akbar 's conversion to Zoroastrianism . 

But inspite of all these, even if they were 
true, Akbar did not accept Zoroastrianism, nor 
Christianity, nor Shiaism. His disgust against the 
conduct of the Mullas and his innate spirit of 
enquiry had carried him near to every one of these 

8 Humayun did the same in his Hall of Audience and belief 
in Astrology was not an innovation in the house of Timur. See ante 
Chap. HI, p. 51. 

9 J.R.A.S., Bombay, Vol. XXI. Rehatsek's translation of 
1 Zunnar * as ' Brahminical thread ' is correct. It is also a Parsee 

10 Smith, Akbar, p. 164. 

11 Akbar *s fire Den was in the harem Blochmann, p. 210, 


religions, so much so that the followers of each 
of these faiths might easily flatter themselves 
as having converted 'the great Mogol,' who, 
according to some of them, had ceased to be a 
Muslim. But it must be said to the credit of the 
Zoroastrians that, after Islam, theirs was greatest 
influence on Akbar and it had been through their 

Badauni tells us that Akbar now began to 
" repeat the name of the Sun in the midnight to 
bring the sun to his wishes." It may be so, for 
he had learnt by his contact with the Hindu Yogis 
that supernatural agencies could be brought to help 
human actions by means of repetition (Zikr). 12 
When two years after, in 1582, Bhanu Chandra 
Upadhyay came to the court, he was asked to 
compile the " Surya Sahasra Nama " and a disc 
was prepared containing these 1,001 names of the 
sun. According to Badauni, Mulla Sheri pre- 
sented to His Majesty a poem composed by him 
entitled * Hazar Shu 'a,' which contained one thou- 
sand verses in the praise of the Sun. 13 The praise 
of the Sun may also be found in the Quran. 34 

12 The Hindu system of Yoga has been adopted by many Ameri- 
cans and Europeans; but they do not cease to be Christians on lhat 
score. The idea of ' Jap * was ingrained in Indian Sufism. Akbar, long 
before he came in contact with the Zoroastrians, used to repeat ' Ya 
Hu, Ya Hadi,' as the Sufi foim of repetition. In 1582, it was an add- 
itional form Bad., II, p. 203. 

13 Mullah Sheri composed a verse in the praise of the sun. Bad., II, 
P. 346. 

14 Quran, Chap. XXX, Sura Shams. 

20 I280B 


Thus the praise of the Sun and the other luminaries 
did not remove Akbar from the pale of Islam. As 
regards Fire worship, the liberalism of Akbar had 
already allowed great scope to the Hindu ladies of 
the harem to follow their religious rites and they 
performed ' Horn ' sacrifice inside the harem. 

There was also a permanent ' Hom-Kunda' 
Fire Den) inside the harem. When the fire cult of 
the Hindus, with which he was long associated, 
was coroborated by the Parsee Mobeds, and was 
supported by his friend Birbal, Akbar began to 
believe in the efficacy of bringing the elements of 
Nature under his control. 

The wearing of the girdle and the ring of the 
Zoroastrians by no means proved that he had 
adopted those marks as his acceptance of the creed. 
This was only to show honour to the Zoroastrians 
and Mobeds as he had done to honour the 
Christian Priests, when he appeared in their own 
costume to receive them. Similar honour was 
shown to the Hindu Yogis when he used the 'Tilak' 
mark on his forehead. As has been already 
pointed out, this was only to create an atmosphere 
congenial to the understanding of the respective 
faiths with which he was dealing for the time 
being. 15 

15 Payne, Jesuits at the Court of Akbar, Chap. II, re costume. 
Badauni tells that Akbar used to shave the crown of his head like a 
Buddhist Lama, in the belief that his soul might pass'through it. 
. II. p. 305. 


The introduction of the Persian festivals came 
under the circumstances of time. His court was full 
of the Persian element he himself had seen those 
festivals in his early days in Persia ; his mother 
was a Persian lady from Transoxiana. The Parsees 
in Hindustan and the Persians in Iran in their 
common cradle had followed the same festivals 
and the acceptance of the Parsee festivals was, in 
other words, a partial acceptance of the Persian 
customs. The great names of the mystic Persia 
and the still greater fame of her mystic kings had a 
glamour for him. May we further suggest that the 
adoption of the Persian festivals was due to a motive 
of allaying the feeling of discontent created in the 
minds of the Persian elements in the court after the 
blow had been aimed at the Persian supremacy by 
the Mahzar of 1579. The same spirit of toleration 
and equality of treatment that is responsible for 
the inclusion of the Hindu, Muslim, Parsee and 
Christian festivals in the holiday list of the British 
Government in India, characterised the spirit 
of the Government of Akbar, when he adopted 
such festivals as the Persian Naw-ruz and Shariff , 
the Hindu Rakhi and Dewali, the Christian Mass 
and Christmas in his official list of holidays. 16 

16 Festivals that were celebrated under the charge of the Kotwal : 

(i) Naw-ruz when 'the great world-illuminating luminary entered 
the ign of Aries* at the commencement of the Farwardin (Maich) ; 


The acceptance of some of the formalities of 
the Zoroastrians, did not bring him into the fold of 
their religion. 

The very fundamental principle of their religion 
was questioned by Akbar ; he attacked * the very 
conception of good and evil emanating from God 
which was the cardinal basis of their faith/ He 
said to the Mobed, " You admit the existence of 
Yezdan and Ahrman, in order that Yezdan may 
not be said to be the author of evil, but you also 
assert that Ahrman sprung forth from the evil 
thought of the all just Lord ; therefore, he sprang 
from good and evil originated from God, the All 
Just ; you are therefore, wrong in the fundamental 
principle, the very most fundamental principle of 
your religion, and wrong must be every branch 
which you derive from it." 17 Was Akbar a Zoro- 
astrian still ? 

(H) 19th of the same month festival of the glorious sun ; 
( ill) Feasts 

3rd of Ardibishist (April). 
6th of Khorbad (May). 
10th of Aban (October.) 
9th of Azr (November). 
2nd of Bahman (January), 
15th of Isfandaraad (Feb.) 

(iv) Illuminations Naw-iuz, Sheriff, Bharat (8th of the Arabian 
month called Shaban) ; on morning following illumination was cele- 
brated a festival and kettle-drum was to be beaten on an elephant's back. 

" Dabistan, I. p.73. 


Section V Jains at the Court of Afybar 

During the early Muslim period, Jainism was a 
creed of the South though it was not unknown to 
Northern India. In early Muslim histories, we find 
but scanty references to Jainism, as the Muslims 
did not come into clash with it. 1 Abul Fazl knew 
its doctrines as he knew many other things, 2 and 
it was not unknown to Akbar. When the Ibadat 
Khana was opened to the non-Muslims, Jains also 
came in. But from the scanty information on 
the Jain participation in the debates, even many 
modern historians completely ignored the sphere 
of Jain influence in the thought world of Akbar. 
Elphinstone, Von Noer, Malleson and even Bloch- 
mann failed to notice the Jain aspect of the ques- 
tion. In a spirit of forgetfulness, they did not 
mark the mention of the names of the Jain Gurus 
in the long list of the learned men ; of course, 
in his tremendously long list, Abul Fazl did not al- 
ways classify the learned men according to religion 
or territory. For the first time, attention was 
drawn in Jaina Shashana of Benares in 1 9 1 3 to the 
Jain influence on Akbar. Since then the historians 
have begun to search for definite information about 

1 Mohsin Fan! who attempted a voluminous treatise on the manners 
and customs and of religions of Asia in the 16th century did not consider 
Jainism to be of sufficient importance to embody its doctrines in the 

2 Ain , HI. pp. 188-210. 

3 Jaina Shashana of Benares, 1910, pp. 1 13-28. 


Akbar's contact with Jains. And a good deal of the 
humanitarian regulations of Akbar have been 
ascribed to the Jain influence. 4 Smith attempted 
to deal with the Jain influence in a chronological 
manner but his facts are rather scanty and the Jain 
influence on Akbar's personal life is much more 
than Smith supposed it to be. 

During the last period of the Ibadat Khana, when 
the institution assumed a cosmopolitan character, 
invitations were sent to leaders of different creeds. 
His search for the Elite was postponed for a time 
owing to his preoccupation in the Mirza rebellion in 
the west and'feudo-religious outbreak in the east. 
After his return from Kabul in 1582, 'having 
heard of the virtues and learning of Hiravijaya, 
he ordered Sahib Khan, Viceroy of Guzrat, to 
send him to court,' as he had done 4 years back 
when he had invited Dastur Mahayarji Rana of 
Navasari. There was, at first, much hesitation if 
he would accept the Imperial invitation, for a Jain 
recluse has nothing to do with King or Royalty. 
However, in obedience to the Viceregal farman, 
Hiravijaya visited the Viceroy at Ahmedabad and 
was persuaded to accept the Imperial invitation 
' in the interest of his religion.' The Viceroy 
offered him rich presents and cost of the journey but 
inspite of every pressure the saint, true to his own 
creed, firmly refused everything. 

* Smith, Akbar, p. 166-68. K. P. Mitra has done some good work 
on the subject. 


The party included Hiravijaya, Bhanuchandra 
Upadhyay and Vi jay sen Suri. They started on foot 
with such scanty garments on as their order allowed 
them and without any guard or guide. They 
covered up the whole distance on foot from 
Ahmedabad to Agra and were received with all 
the pomp of Imperial pegeantry. Hiravijaya became 
a guest of Abul Fazl till such time as Akbar would 
find leisure to converse witli them. 

Akbar had long conversation with them on Jain 
philosophers specially on the doctrine of non-kill- 
ing.'' 1 This brought in Akbar a profound change 
in the Turki spirit of blood-thirst. 6 Regulations 
issued by His Majesty regarding the non-killing 7 
were so wide and thorough that if anybody did not 
know the name of the author of these regulations, 
he would immediately conclude that they were 
issued by a Jain or Buddhist monarch and not by a 
descendant of Timur or Chengiz. 8 

" In 1582, the famous tank called Dabul at 
Fatehpur which abounded in fish was offered to 

5 Smith was of opinion that the discussions of the Ibadat Khand 
were closed after 1582, but the picture as has been described by 
Father Heras shows Rudolf Aquaviva and Jain Gum taking part in 
religious discussions. Rudolf left Agra in 1583 and Hiravijaya arrived 
in 1582. So this picture must be dated between 1582 and 1583 when 
the discussions must have taken place. 

6 ' Happy Sayings,' Ain. f III, pp. 380-400. 

7 Regulations of non-killing. Bad., II., p. 331. 

8 ' Hiravijaya Kalyan ' mentions that stoppage of animal slaughter 
was due to the influence of Hira. Indian Historical Quarterly, 1933 
p. 137, 


Hira so as to stop fishing at that pond." 9 In the 
same year, hunting was stopped and royal fishing 
was much restricted. 

In 1582, the Emperor issued orders for * the 
release of prisoners and caged-birds * and prohibit- 
ed ' the killing of animals on certain days.' 10 
In 1583, these orders were extended and disobedi- 
ence to them was made a capital offence. 

Hiravijaya was given the title of Jagat-Guru or 
world-teacher. After this, the saint thought that 
he had finished his work and wanted that he should 
retire. The influence of the Jagat-Guru was so 
profound in the eyes of his followers that he is 
credited with having converted the Emperor to 
Jainism. In 1584, the saint repaired to Guzrat; 
on his way he visited Allahabad. 

His colleague, Bhanuchandra Upadhyay, re- 
mained at court and Akbar is said to have read 
' Surya Shahasra Nama' with him. The colophon 
that is given below, from the commentary on the 
Kadambari, testifies to the fact of Akbar 's reading 
the ' Surya Shahasra Nama' n : 

9 Rev. Heras, British Royal Asiatic Sociely, 1928 Bombay 

10 Smith, Akbar, p. 167. There are also Sufi sects 'in Islam who 
do not kill animals and are strict vegetarians. 

11 This colophon is almost the same as in the Lekha-Likhan-paddhati, 
a manuscript copy of which, dated Bikram Sam vat 1711 was seen by 
Hiranand Sastri with the Jain Muni Sri Vicaksanavijaya at Barigaloie in 
1933 ; the difference is that the latter was written at the time of Jahangir, 
to whom (and not to Akbar \ attributes the conferring of the title 
c Khushphaham * on the Jain monk Siddhi and also the conferment of 

the title Nadir-i-Zaman on the said monk. 


' Surya Sahasra Nama ' with Bhanuchandra 12 : 

The point of interest is that Sun worship is 
rather a cult of the Hindus and Zoroastrians and 
not of the Jains, but the fact is undeniable that 
the praises of the Sun were read with the Jain 
Muni. Possibly the scholarship of Bhanuchandra 
attracted Akbar and he availed of the services of 
scholar in the matter. 13 

In 1 587, the Emperor issued orders stopping 
the slaughter of animals for nearly 1 80 days in a 

In 1 590, one Siddhichandra 14 visited Akbar at 
Lahore and was honoured with a title. He was 


^' (tt) 

13 The Surya Sahasra Nama which Akbar used to read has been 
published by Hiranand Sastri in Indian Historical Quarterly Review, 

14 This Siddhichandra is possibly the Santichandra of Rev 



placed in charge of the holy places of the Jains 
in the empire. The tax on pilgrims to the 
Satrunjaya hills was abolished in the same year. 15 

In 1 590, the temple of Adiswara on the hills of 
Satrunjaya in the district of Kathiawar was con- 
secrated to Hiravijaya. The occasion has been 
memorialised by a long inscription which contains 
details of the favours shown by Akbar to the Jain 

We do not hear much of the Jains after 
the death of Hiravijaya in 1592, when he died by 
starvation as usual with Jain saints. But it is 
certain that Siddhichandra lived at the court of 
Jahangir and was honoured with the title of 'Nadir- 
i-Zatnan ' and * Khushphaham.' 

Section VI The Sikhs 

The Gurus at the time of Akbar were 
Umar Das 1552-74 A.D. 
Ram Das 1574-81 A.D. 
Arjun 1581-1606 A.D. 

By the time Akbar had come to Hindustan, 
Sikhism was not a very famous creed ; it was only 
one amongst many. In almost all religions, it is 
the early saints that keep the torch burning amongst 
the disciples ; so also it was in Sikhism that the bril- 
liance and attainments of the early Gurus attracted 

" Smith, Akbar, pp. 166*68. 


followers into the fold and kept them steady. Of 
these Gurus, Umar Das had some conversation 
with Akbar, in whom Umar Das ' found an 
attentive listener.' * This conversation with Umar 
Das, who died in 1 574, throws some light on the 
spirit of quest in Akbar even before the building 
of the Ibadat Khana. 

Guru Ram Das is said to have been held in 
great esteem by Akbar. The Emperor gave him 
a piece of land, within the limits of which he dug 
a reservoir, since then well known as Amritsar or 
' Pool of Immortality/ 2 The Sikh accounts slate 
that possession of Akbar 's gift was disputed by a 
Vairagee (recluse) who claimed the land as the 
site of an ancient pool dedicated to Ramchandra, 
the tutelary deity of his order. But the Sikh Guru 
replied haughtily, * he was himself the true 
representative of the hero.' The Vairagee could 
produce no proof and Ram Das dug deep into the 
earth and displayed the ancient steps of he 
Demi-God's reservoir. 3 But Father Heras says^ 
that Sikhs were known to Akbar * only much later ' 
than the discussions of the Ibadat Khana, when he 
established himself at Lahore. 4 The conclusion of 
Father Heras is against the existing evidence. If the 
digging of the Pool at Amritsar was done by Ram 

1 Cunningham, History of the Sikhs, p. 52. 

2 Dabistan, Vol. II, p. 375. 

3 Malcolm, Sketch, p. 29 ; Cunningham, op. cit. p. 50, footnote. 

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch, 1928, 
P. 292. 


Das on a piece of land granted by Akbar and if 
Ram Das died in 1 581 , he must have made Akbar 's 
acquaintance before 1581 while Akbar estab- 
lished himself at Lahore much later than 1581. 
Therefore, it cannot be true that the acquaintance 
of the Sikh Gurus with Akbar dates after the 
establishment of Akbar at Lahore. 

Guru Arjun welded the Sikhs into a religious 
brotherhood with their centre at Amritsar. It was 
he who, during this period, arranged the Granth 
Sahib. If the mission of Akbar was to unite all 
Hindustan by one religious bond, he should not 
have allowed a new religion to grow and develop 
in the midst of myriads that were already existing. 
On the other hand, he allowed every man, every 
community, nay every religion to develop in its own 
way and even helped its growth. Tolerance of 
Akbar was so helpful to the growth of Sikhism 
that, to use the word of Mohsin Fani, ' in the time 
of Guru Arjun, Sikhs could be found everywhere 
throughout the country.' * In the Punjab, the 
saintliness and devotion of Guru Arjun was 
almost a proverb. During the rebellion of Khusrau 
he beseeched the help of Guru Arjun ' not by any 
men and money, but through prayer.' It is said 
that Arjun had helped him through his prayers and 
when Khusrau was defeated, Arjun had to pay 
very dearly in prison. c 

3 Dabistan, II, p. 270. 

* Cunningham, op. cit. , pp. 52-60, 


In his account, Mohsin Fani placed Sikhism 
amongst the most well established religions of India 
and he has devoted a large space to describe it. 
A position of eminence for Sikhism would have 
been impossible had not Akbar looked upon it 
with favour. His conversation with Umar Das 
and grant of land to Ram Das were eloquent 
testimony to Akbar 's sympathy towards Sikhism. 

Section VII Buddhism 

There is yet a good deal of doubt if the) 
Buddhists played any part in the discussions of the 
Ibadat Khana. The existing evidence does not 
directly go in favour of Buddhist participation in 
the Ibadat Khana. Buddhism in India was almost 
a dead religion by that time. Abul Fazl tells us, 
for a long time past scarcely any trace of the 
Buddhist monk has existed in Hindustan.' ' It 
was living a life of exile in the different corners of 
India, in Ceylon, in Kashmir, in Tibet and in 
Nepal. But the philosophy of Buddhism produced 
a great volume of literature in Hindustan, and was 
eagerly read by scholars in that age of Renaissance. 
When Abul Fazl was pining for satiation of his 
intellectual thirst, he thought of visiting the Lamas 
in Tibet. 2 In fact Abul Fazl made a detailed 

1 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch, 1928, New 
Seriet, Vol. VIII. 


study of the Buddhist doctrines in their different 
forms and he found that Buddhism, though it had 
fled away from the land of its birth as a creed, 
was strewn and diffused in the thought-world of 
India. Modern historians have failed to notice any 
influence of Buddhism in the thought process of 
Akbar and, in the absence of any direct testimony 
corroborating the same, Elphinstone, Von Noer and 
Smith have not marked any influence of Buddhism 
on Akbar. Nizamuddin is silent about the Buddhists, 
nor could we expect him to mention them as he 
was a mere court chronicler and not a great scholar. 
The Portuguese writers do not mention anything 
about the Buddhists as they have not done in case 
of the Jews, Zoroastrians and Jains. The Christian 
writers were busy with their own mission of conver- 
sion and had no time or inclination to record what 
others in the Ibadat Khana were doing. Mohsin 
Fani does not bring in the Samans in the role of 
disputants in the Ibadat Khana. Abul Fazl has 
lonly on one occasion mentioned that the Buddhists 
had come along with others into the Ibadat Khana 3 
and has not given any account of the Samans. 
Badauni has mentioned the ' Samans ' only 
once along with the Bramhans, as being responsible 
for the changes in Akbar. But Macdonald is of 
opinion that the * Samans ' referred to, are a Central 
Asian people and not Buddhists ; whereas Lowe 

Akbarname, Vol. Ill, pp. 252-53. 


in his notes says that the * Saman ' of Badauni 
is a Buddhist ' Saman * and the word is a loose 
form of the Sanskrit ' Shraman.'* We believe 
that Macdonald is not correct. The discussions were 
held in India and naturally the representatives of 
religious currents in India or originating in India, 
should be invited. If he could invite a religion like 
Sikhism or a minor sect like the C/iarfca^s, 5 there 
should be no reason why such an important 'religion 
of Indian origin should be omitted. If the * Samans ' 
referred to by Badauni were a Central Asian people, 
as Macdonald would have us believe, why should 
they be invited to the exclusion of so important a 
religion of Indian origin. Moreover the Central 
Asian ' Samanism * had no followers in India, nor 
was it mentioned in any of the religious books with 
which Akbar was conversant. Further the mention 
of the words 4 Saman ' and ' Brahman ' together 
by Badauni, is significant. Badauni referred to 
contributions of both in the transformation of thought 
of Akbar jointly. To quote Badauni, "And Samans 
and Brahmans brought forward proofs based on 
reason and traditional testimony, for the truth of 
their own, and the fallacy of our own religion 
and inculcated their doctrine with such firmness 
and assurance/' This joint contribution may 
be due to the joint participation of savants having 

* Badauni, II, p. 264, footnote No. 1. 
5 Akbarnama, Vol. Ill, pp. 252-53. 

* Badauni, II. p. 264. 


much in common as was actually the case of 
Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Otherwise 
Badauni would have discussed the * Samans ' and 
4 Brahmans ' separately. Further Badauni says 
that Akbar used to shave the crown of his head in 
Buddhist manner. 

May be that Buddhists were not to be found in 
the mainland of Hindustan but it was possible to 
get some from Tibet, Ceylon or Kashmir as he 
did actually invite Christians from Goa, Jains from 
Ahmmadabad, or Mobeds from Navasarai or Iran. 7 
Abul Fazl, who was in charge of the affairs at the 
time, was deeply versed in Buddhist philosophy 
and it was in the fitness of things that Abul Fazl 
should invite the Buddhist savants. Abul Fazl 
promised, in his Ain No. 77, 8 to write a detailed 
treatise on His Majesty ' as a religious guide to the 
people' but he could not unfortunately fulfil his 
promise and thus we lost the opportunity of know- 
ing * first hand/ 

There is yet another direct proof of the Buddhist 
participation in the discussions of the IbadatKhana. 
In picture No. 3, described Appendix C to Chapter 
IV, we meet with a picture of a Buddhist Shraman. 
Father Heras 9 identifies the disputant to the right 
side just above the Christian gentlemen as a Bud- 
Idhist Shraman. But no details about the Buddhist 

7 J.R.A.S., XXI, J. J. Modi, p. 69. 

8 Blochmann, p. 162. 

Royal Asiatic Society Journal, 1928. Bombay Branck 


contribution to the Ibadat Khana are available. It 
may, however, be confidently surmised that the 
Buddhists are not less responsible than the Jains 
for the promulgation of the regulations regarding the 
non-killing and similar humanitarian works in con- 
nection with administration. Beyond that we have 
no definite information about the Buddhists at the 
court of Akbar. 10 

Section VIII The Jews 

The Dabistan-i-Mazahib informed us that the 
Jews were present in the hall of worship and took 
the role of disputants in the course of debates. 
Mohsin Fani records the part played by a Jew in 
the midst of the debate between a Shia and a Sunni. 
But the way in which a Jew was introduced by the 
author does not prove that they were held in great 
esteem. There was a good deal of ill feeling 
between the Jews and Muslims ; the debate between 
a Jew and a Christian was always characterised by 
as much bitterness as the quarrel between a Shia 
and a Sunni. Often in the debates, the Christians 
were silenced by the Jews who disbelieved the 
virgin birth of Jesus nor did they accept Jesus as a 

So far as Akbar was concerned, he had not 
much respect for Judaism as could be gathered from 

iO Jahanara saw the glass panes of Khwrabag of Akbar decorated 
with paintings of Buddha. Butenschon, Life of a Mughal Princess, p 87. 



the story of the philosopher turning a stick into 
eight serpents and reducing the eight serpents into 
the former stick by means of magic. 1 The Jews 
claimed a prophethood for Moses and based the 
greatness of Moses on his miracles by ^hich they 
were charmed. But Akbar almost entirely rejected 
the so-called miracles of prophets as a class. 
We have no evidence of any direct contribution of 
Judaism to the constructive side of Akbar's faith 
and beliefs inspite of our posssosion of numerous 
'petty details. 2 

Section VIII The Christians at the Court of A^bar 
General Remarks : 

Akbar 's first acquaintance with the Christians 
dates as far back as 1 572-73 on the occasion of his 
conquest of Guzrat. The Portuguese had come to 
India about three quarters of a century back. 
Within this short period of time they made their 
influence felt in the south-west coast ; their naval 
proficiency made them indispensable to many of 
the coastal states of India from Guzrat to the Bay 
of Bengal. No doubt they had come in pursuance 
of trade, but when they found opportunities for 
employment in different states, they gladly accepted 
them. During his Guzrat conquest, Akbar was 

Dabistan, Vol. II, Section II, Chap. X, 
/lid.. Vol. II, p. 71. 


convinced of the superiority of their naval mecha- 
nism and art. As a shrewd man of affairs, he 
was not blind to the significance of the Portuguese 
occupations in the south, 1 which was at once the 
seat of piracy and trade combined. 

As is usual with the European nations, along 
with these traders and adventurers also came 
the priests and missionaries, mostly Jesuits, with all 
their zeal for making new converts. 

During the seize of Surat in 1573, the Portu- 
guese came to the defence of the city. Finding 
resistance useless Dom Antonio De Noronha 2 sent 
Antonio Cabral "with instruction to make peace/' 
As was usual with Akbar, he did not refuse 
the proposal for peace. In his unbounded curio- 
sity Akbar " made enquiries about the wonders 
of Portugal and the manners of Europe." About 
1576, two Jesuit missionaries came to Bengal, 
Anthony Vaz and Peter Dias. Their personal 
character made favourable impressions on Akbar. 
The Emperor sent for the Vicar General of Bengal, 
Julian Pereira, to question him about the Christian 
people, their civilization and religion. Accidentally 
this was the period when the Ibadat Khana had 
been built, and heated discussions amongst the 

1 The Portuguese occupations during that period were Goa, Cham- 
bal, Bombain, Bassein, Daman, Dieu ; their fleet controlled the Arabian 
Sea, the Persian Gulf ; the pilgrim traffic of Muslims also was in their 
hands to a large extent. 

2 For Dom Antonio's details, see Hosten, Journal and Proceedings 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1912, p. 217. 


different sects of Islam were continuing and 
the ken of vision of Akbar was from day to day, 
growing wider and wider. The limits of any 
circumscribed sectarian doctrines could hardly 
meet the ever expanding demands of the soul of 
the great Seeker. The Vicar General Julian was 
not educated enough to satisfy the cravings of 
Akbar. In 1576, one Pietro Tavaers, a Portuguese 
officer in his employ, also proved useless for the 
purpose of Akbar. 

By 1 578, the relation between the Imperial 
governor and the Portuguese authorities of Goa 
became very much strained. The Viceroy Dom 
Antonio Cabral, who had concluded the former 
peace in 1573, was sent to negotiate again. At 
Fatehpur Sikri, the Emperor had a talk with him 
about the Christian civilisation and faith. But he 
also could not improve upon the information 
already supplied by his predecessors. The Vicar 
General suggested that the Emperor might invite 
the Christian Fathers from Goa who would be able 
to give him the information that he might require 
about Christianity. 3 

Accordingly, the king sent one of his officers 
Haji Abdulla Khan with his interpreter Dominio 
Parez to bring the learned men of Christianity 
from Goa. The motive of Akbar in inviting the 

3 Payne, Akbar and the Jesuits,, p. 16. Du Jarric says that Julian 
had some disputes with the Mullas regarding religion. 


missionaries may be beautifully read in the text 
of the Farman issued to the Priests at Goa. 4 

There is a good deal of controversy amongst 
historians regarding the motives of Akbar in invit- 
ing the Portuguese missionaries from Goa. The 
colour which has been given to the motive of Akbar, 
has been according to the angle from which histo- 
rians have looked at the religious changes of the 
Emperor. The Muslim historians generally inter- 
preted history in terms of facts. They concentrated 
their interest on the actions of monarch and not 
on the course of events or on their currents and 
cross currents. So the Muslim historians rested 
content with the letter of invitation and they did not 
supply us with any clue to the motive of Akbar 
except indirectly and incidentally. The Portuguese 
writers of this period were as a class not historians 
and their writings were generally confined to 
religious reports and despatches. The Jesuit mis- 
sionaries did not often care to verify the truth of 
the information which came to them. Stories 
came to them and the Fathers accepted them in 
all credulity and put them in their despatches. 
Often they could not follow the native language 
in the absence of an interpreter ; often they did not 
verify the half understood facts but merely entered 
them in their letters and despatches. To the later 
historians, they serve as materials of history. 

4 For text of the Farman, see post, pp. 186-87. 


European writers generally treat these mate- 
rials as invaluable sources of history. But without 
minimising their historical importance, we would 
suggest that they should be taken very cautiously ; 
firstly because they were not political documents ; 
secondly they were at variance with one another ; 
thirdly they have not been properly annotated ; 
further they are not yet complete. We may accept 
them as materials for history when they are sup- 
ported by other evidences either direct or highly 
circumstantial. As for example Vasco da Gama's 
description of the land of Zamorin ; 5 he saw the 
Hindu priests with their white dress, blowing conch- 
shells and lighting candles and lamps at the altar, 
and Vasco da Gama mistook them for Christian 
priests. He remarked in his Travels that in the 
1 5th century, there were Christian churches and 
priests in the land of Zamorin. It took Europe 
about 200 years to correct the mistake to which 
Vasco da Gama led the historians. During the 
reign of Akbar, the Fathers heard so many stories, 
wrote so many letters and sent so many despatches 
that they made their confusion worse confounded. 
On their way to Sikri, one of the Fathers heard that 
Akbar had issued orders for the destruction of all 
mosques. Another learnt that Akbar had given 
up all his wives keeping only one and distributed 
the rest amongst his courtiers. A third remarked 

5 See discussions in the Introduction. 


that Akbar was going to Goa to be baptised but he 
could not do so in the capital for fear of a rebellion. 
Some heard at Bijapur that Akbar died a Christian. 

The credulity of the foreigners only excites 
laughter and needs no comment. The Fathers 
came to convert the Emperor and they were too 
eager to have stories saying that Akbar had separat- 
ed from Islam. 

And there are historians who put faith in the 
Portuguese versions as much religiously as did the 
Fathers in the Gospels. One such is the famous 
Dr. V. A. Smith. Whenever there was a wide 
difference between the Portuguese versions and 
native versions, he rejected the native ones because 
they were not written by the Fathers. Smith's 
references to original Portuguese sources are very 
wide in many places, and he had not properly 
handled the sources even when it was not difficult 
for him to do so. He laid immense weight 
on the Jesuit testimony in his work ' Akbar 
the Great Moghul ;' so his investigations of the 
Jesuit sources ought to have been more thorough. 
Payne is very right when he remarked that ' ' the 
perfunctory nature of Smith's investigations is all 
the more astonishing in view of the immense 
weight attached to Jesuit testimony. " Smith's 
references are often misleading and inaccurate like 

6 For a detailed description on this point, see Hakluyat Society 
Journal, 1888, Vol. II, Part I, 252, 


those of Dr. Gastav Von Buchwald who had com- 
piled the unfinished volume of Von Noer's * Kaiser 
Akbar.' The peculiar mentality of Smith when 
he rejected the authority of Abul Fazl on the cap- 
ture of Asirgarh as ' forgery and wilful distortion 
of facts' has evoked strong censure from recent 
writers of Jesuit history. 7 Smith often refers to 
' Relacam ' but he had not had more than a frag- 
mentary acquaintance with Guerreiro's work and, 
therefore, he often committed mistakes while 
referring to it. His note on Relacam is very in- 
accurate. Similarly Dr. Gustav Von Buchwald 
cannot be excused for the damagingly wrong ver- 
sions of Akbar which he gave apparently bearing on 
Relacam. His study was so shallow that he mis- 
took the very identity of Akbar and Jahangir and 
the facts of one have been thrust on the shoulder 
of the other. 

Jahangir invented a method of sealing letters with 
the images of Christ and the Virgin. But Dr. Gustav 
took this method of sealing letters as having been 
invented by Akbar and on this flimsy datum, he 
built up a theory that " Akbar regarded himself 
as of higher rank than Christ/' In Chap. IX 
Dr. Gustav introduced the story of a discussion in 
which Akbar was the chief speaker on the divinity 
of Christ, but it took place two years after his 
death. Dr. Gustav ante-dated this discussion by 

7 Payne, ojt>. cif., Introduction, p. XXXV, 


some twelve years, making it occur on the 5th May, 

1595, the date on which the third mission reached 

Akbar's court. 8 Further mistake of Dr. Gustav 

was that he made Guerreiro one of the disputants 

whereas Guerreiro was not a missionary and was 

never in the East. Such instances of colossal mistakes 

of the modern authors who depended wholly on 

the Jesuit versions might be multiplied. Only we 

shall mention Smith, for he is regarded as the most 

important authority on Akbar. Smith relied on 

Du Jarric's Historia and has taken it as a piece of 

history. But if Smith had gone through the 

first few pages of his work more carefully, he 

would have found from Du Jarric's own version 

that he did not claim himself to be a historian. H's 

* Historia' is in no sense an original work and " it 

is fro 01 the first to last a compilation, a series of 

exlracts and abstracts from the writings of others." 

Du Jarric himself tells us that he wanted to compile 

a history of the Jesuit missions and not of the 

country in which they were located. 

To quote Payne, " Historia is essentially a 
religious work, religious both in theme and 
treatment, and as such, not as treatise on 
general history, it must be regarded/' To treat 
the facts mentioned therein as infallible evidence 

8 Payne, op. cit., Introduction, p. xxxiv. 

9 Ibid , Introduction, p. xxxix. For detailed criticism, see Payne's 

23 1280B 


of history, as has been done by Smith, is unhistori- 
cal. 10 

On the whole, the nature of the missionary 
work determined the scope of missionary writings. 
Their writings were meant to keep the authorities 
informed of the progress they had made in their 
mission, namely the condition of Akbar's 
mind, the possibility of his conversion and 
the chance of spreading the Gospel in the land 
of ' the great Mogor.' The reports were full 
of gossips relating to Akbar's so-called apostasy ; 
up to the moment of his death, the missionaries 
had a lurking hope of converting him to 
Christianity. Akbar's sympathetic attitude and 
the respect shown to Father Aquaviva were 
mistaken by the Fathers who had only the 
knowledge of European religious intolerance of the 
16th century and who could not dream of such 
liberalism of a non-Christian, unless he was a 
confirmed believer in the doctrines of Christianity. 
Similarly the Mullas, who believed that truth was 
the monopoly of Islam alone, misjudged Akbar 
because he was liberal enough to find more or less 
truth in all religions as was done by Chengiz. So 
we find mucli similarity between the Portuguese 

10 But it must be said to the credit of Du Jarric that he compared 
Historia of Guzman and Relacam of Guerriero ; he is much more 
judicious and methodical though a bit more moralising. 


and Mulla versions of the story n though their angle 
of vision was different, their interpretations were 
the same. But the real Akbar lies behind the 
bars of the cage built by the Jesuit Clergy and 
Muslim Mullas. 

Now to resume, what was the motive that lay 
behind Akbar 's invitation of the Jesuit Fathers ? 
Some say that the motive was purely political. 
According to them, Akbar did not like the 
domination of the Indian seas by the Portuguese ; 
their control of the eastern maritime traffic was 
offensive to Akbar, the humiliation to which the 
pilgrims to Mecca were subjected, were too 
annoying to the Emperor, and Akbar 's motive 
was " to turn them neck and crop out of India." 
As the matter was net easy, Akbar had recourse 
to ' ' a tortuous policy of diplomacy and friendship 
combined '* 1J " His friendly missions, sent avowedly 
with the innocent object of acquiring leligicus 
instructions and purchasing European curiosities, 
had a sinister political purpose also, and were 
utilised as means of espionage." As is mentioned 
in De Sousa, there was a suspicion in the 
minds of the governor of Goa that * the Fathers 

11 Father Xavier, whose letters generally supplied the sources of 
Du Jarric, wrote in a letter of Dec 4, 1615, that Akbar had embraced 
Hinduism and died in that faith. This mistake on the part of one who 
was present in the third mission anvJ who could see things for himself, 
betiays a lack of knowledge of contemporary events and as such should 
not be taken as reliable source of history. 

Smith, Akbar, p. 202. 


might be kept as hostages.' 13 According to 
Maclagan, Akbar wanted the Jesuit Fathers to be 
used as priests for religious services to his European 
employees, 11 Maclagan -further suggests on the 
authority of Catrou 16 that Abul Fazl, finding that 
Islam could not be made a national religion in India, 
advised Akbar to give Christianity a chance. 
Maclagan made too much of this fantastic theory and 
asserted that before the introduction of Din-i-Ilahi, 
Akbar wanted to experiment upon India a third reli- 
gion besides Hinduism and Islam. Maclagan's view 
is untenable in view of the fact that if Akbar 's 
motive was political unity based on religious unity, 
he should not have allowed religious freedom to all. 
Some Fathers in their wild conjectures suggest that 
Christianity was predestined for India and Akbar 
wanted to give a chance in advance lo what was 
inevitable. The absurdity of the proposition is 
too apparent to need any comment. To them 
' wish is the father of thought/ 

But Payne with much greater sanity attempted 
to combine 'motif political with motif religious' of 

!3 De Sousa, Oriente Conquistado, Vol. II, p. 150. 

14 This is riot justifiable as the number of Chirstians employed 
in Akbar 's service was too small and they were too much scattered in 
the Empire to demand the services of bishops from Goa. If such motive 
did at all exist, it must have been mentioned in the text of the 
Farm an. 

!5 Histoire Generale Edition 1705, p. 96. Abul Fazl had then 
been 4 years in the court and was a young man of 20, and still a ' biathi' 
cnly end a full-b^cded IVutljnn, moreover he \v?s never found to have 
been favourably chspcsed towards Christianity. 


Akbar in inviting the Portuguese missionaries. A 
close study of the Farman of invitation and a 
critical view of the phase of Akbar 's mind through 
which he was passing at that period of his life, 
convince us that the invitation was primarily 
religious and secondarily political and was in 
consonance with the spirit which characterised the 
temperament of Akbar during that period. The 
period ot conquest was practically over ; the influence 
of the orthodox professors of the Sunni creed 
was ebbing away ; the Shias had lost their ground 
owing to their undignified vituperations on the 
companions of the Prophet and on the Sunnis. 
The Zoroaslrian Daslur Mahyarji Rana had dazzled 
Akbar by his personal magnetism ; and the 
Brahmins and Yogis, with this century-old 
ph losophy and the Tantras, had made a favour- 
able impression on his mind ; their sacred books 
had filtered into Akbar s mind through trans- 

Stray acquaintance made with lay Christians did 
not satisfy the insatiable thirst for knowledge of the 
Sufi mind of Akbar lover of wisdom as he was 
by nature. 10 He now desired to have his ken of 
vision expanded and enlightened through discourses 
with the Christian priests whose Sacred Books 
had been referred to in the Quran as Ahli 
Kitab or the Revealed Books. If the invitation 

Biochmann sa>s, " Akbar was a Sufi at heart, " p. 210. 


to Tulsidas, Dadu, Surdas, Mahayarji Rana or Ram 
Das before theFarman to Goa, or to Hiravijaya and 
Bhanuchandra after, had not been actuated by 
political motives, what reason have we to surmise 
a poiltical motive behind the invitation to the 
Christians ? It may be that there were political 
relations between the Mughals and the Portuguese, 
and that inspite of the existence of the religious 
missionaries at court, political amity was not estab- 
lished. (Akbar like Asok had not ceased to be a 
king because he had become a religious devotee.) 
The co-existence of religious and political relations did 
not deprive Akbar of the sincerity that lay behind 
the spirit of the invitation. Specially the way in 
which Akbar received the missionaries on their 
arrival and treated them during their stay, did not 
justify the remark that ' a tortuous duplicity ' was 
guiding all the transactions of Akbar in his relations 
with the Portuguese. 

As usual in Europe of the 16th century, the 
monarchs were almost all seized with the motive 
of proselytisation, and a wave of religious zeal 
explains many of their political actions. Behind 
the action of the political authorities, both politics 
and religion co-existed. Any one of the two, 
without the existence of the other, was sufficient 
enough to decide in favour of the acceptance of 
the invitation. But so far as the missionaries them- 
selves were concerned, many of them were sincerely 
anxious for the conversion of ' the great Mogor 


and evangelisation of the dominions of the Mogor.' 17 
At best it was so up to the end of the second 
mission in 1 59 1 . If they were to some extent 
utilised for political advantage by the Goa authori- 
ties, the clergymen were generally unconscious and 
it was inspite of them. As Moreland observes, 
the mission was the combination of the religious 
and political motives which is the key to all 
activities of the Portuguese during the sixteenth 
century and much of their conduct which is inex- 
plicable from traders' point of view finds an excuse 
though not always a justification in the missionary 
zeal by which the rulers of the country were 
distinguished." 18 We do not fully agree with 
Payne when he says that, " Akbar was influenced 
by both religious and political motives and the 
former was quite as strong and real in his case as 
in theirs." We would rather put it in this way 
that Akbar did actually derive some political 
advantage from his direct contact with the 
Portuguese missionaries but that it was incidental 
and was hardly ever premeditated. 

On the other hand, Akbar was often misunder- 
stood and misjudged because of the Portuguese aspect 
of the question There were opinions that from the 
beginning, the Portuguese had no belief in the 
conversion of the great Mughal and that the 

17 Similar attempts have I-een made by the Christians from time to 
time in the Turki House, see ante, Chap. II, p. 62. 
l Moreland, India at the Death of Akbar, p. 200. 


mission was entirely political from start to finish. 
This view has been taken generally by contem- 
porary English trade writers and travellers 
because they were actuated by a feeling of jealousy 
and hatred against the Portuguese, who were 
at this time dominating the Indian seas. 
According to them, if trade was behind the Portu- 
guese movements, politics must be behind the 
Emperor's. The perspective of the English mei- 
chant man was the L.-S.-D. in the 16th century; so 
they could not follow Portuguese currents in all 
their details. Of course, the services of the 
missionaries, at least in the later stages of the 
missions, were utilised for securing commercial and 
political privileges. No doubt the plans of the 
English merchant adventurer Mildenhall who 
visited Akbar's court in 1603 with the object of 
obtaining trade facilities for himself and his 
countrymen were for a time frustrated by the 
Portuguese missionaries. But to ascribe unalloyed 
political motive from beginning to end shows 
absence of knowledge of court events and betrays 
a lack of insight on the part of early writers like 
Fitch, Terry and Roe. It is indeed true that it was 
the political authorities to whom the Farman was 
sent, because the religious missionaries were under 
the political control of the governor of Goa and the 
political authorities at Goa were primarily concerned 
with the extension of their country's commer- 
cial facilities and were fully alive to the political 


advantages which might accrue to their trade. 
So far as the political authorities were concerned, 
they welcomed the appeal of Akbar ' for instruc- 
tions in the doctrines of Christianity as much for 
religious as for political opportunities which it 
offered . ' But the existence of political incentive by 
no means demonstrates the insincerity of a religious 
urge. Had diplomacy been the whole issue, a 
shrewd man like Akbar could easily have had 
recourse to other means much easier and shorter 
than this slow, long and tedious process. 

Since the beginning of the third mission, the 
Portuguese missionaries had actually become 
political agents, and there were occasions when both 
Father Xavier and Pinherio gave great offence 
to Akbar, as for example, in the siege of Asirgarh 
in Khandesh. But Akbar was magnanimous 
enough to forgive and forget. If his intention was 
to punish them, it was so easy for him. The 
Portuguese missionaries lost their prestige in the 
estimation of both the rulers and the ruled when they 
meddled in politics. So long as the mission was 
represented by men like Rudolf Aquaviva, they 
commanded the respect of all and sundry, but the 
Fathers who followed, were as unworthy of their 
sacred trust, as were the Qazis of the Mughal 
Empire. By the time of Shah Jalian, they ceased 
to be any thing more than political hirelings in 
clergymen's gown and were treated by the Mughal 
authorities as such. Our conclusion is that the 


motive of Akbar in I 580 was primarily religious 
as was that of the missionaries that composed the 
first mission ; but the motives of the Portuguese 
authorities at Lisbon and Goa were primarily 
political. The advantages derived by Akbar were 
much less in proportion to the religious objectives 
gained by the political authorities and as such 
they flattered themselves that they were sefving 
the cause of Jesus. 

The First Mission 

1580-83 A.D. 
The Farman : 

" In the name of God. 

Letter of Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, King 

placed in the seat of God. 
To the Chief priests of the Order of St. Paul. 
Be it known to them that I am a great friend 

of theirs. 

I have sent thither Abdullah my ambassador, 
and Domenico Perez, in order to invite you to send 
back to me with them two of your learned men, 
who should bring the books of the law, and above 
all the Gospels, because I truly and earnestly 
desire to understand their perfection ; and with 
great urgency I again demand that they should 
come with my ambassador aforesaid, and bring 
their books. For from their coming I shall obtain 
the utmost consolations ; they will be dear to me, 


and I shall receive them with every possible 
honour. As soon as 1 shall have become well 
instructed in the law, and shall have compre- 
hended its perfection, they will be able, if willing 
to return at their pleasure, and I shall send them 
back with great honours and appropriate regards. 
Let them not fear me in the least, for I receive 
them under my pledge of good faith and assure 
them concerning myself." 

With the above Farman of invitation Abdulla 
Khan reached Goa in September, 1579, and was 
received with honours reserved for the royal 
governors of Portugal. The motive behind such 
honours was apparent. For reasons both political 
and religious the invitation was accepted. Rudolf 
Aquaviva and Monserrate, along with a converted 
Persian Christian Eenriquez to work as interpreter, 
formed the mission. 10 

They started on the 17th day of November, 
1 579, and reached Sikri on the last day of 
February, 1580. The splendid reception offered by 
the Emperor was typically Mughal in grandeur. 
The King in order to show honour to the priests 
appeared in Portuguese costume, a unique 
honour indeed. He assigned them residence in 
the royal palace, though at a later stage they 
changed their abode themselves to a lonely quarter 

19 For a short life of Aquaviva, see "Smith, Akbar, p. 170 and foi 
Monserrate, p. 171. 


of the city. Their food was supplied from the 
royal table. They were exempted from offering the 
customary prostration when visiting the Emperor. 20 
In the court, they had their seats by the royal 
cushion. Often the Emperor would show much 
familiartiy by taking walks with Aquaviva with 
arms on his shoulder. The King was so anxious 
to talk to them that on the very night of their 
arrival, he kept them questioning till 2'oclock in 
the morning. 21 

Akbar accepted a copy of the Bible with 
respect and also some pictures which he kissed. He 
had also a chapel built for them in the palace. 
He placed Prince Murad under the tuition of 
Monserrate, while Abul Fazl instructed Monserrate 
in Persian. 

We have no formal record of the debates 
between the Mullas and the priests, as we have 
not of any of those that had been held amongst 
the doctors of different faiths except what we get 
in the Dabislan-ul-Mazahib. Stray references 
in the Dabistan, the extracts from the reports of 
the Fathers and the pictures of the Mughal 
court acquaint us with some details of the nature 
of their conversations and debates. The day of 

^ The Sijdah was not compulsory for all. The Sayids weie 
exempted from it. Akbarnama, III, Beveridge, p. 399. 

21 This extreme impafience for conversation with the priests is only 
an outward expression of the storm that was raging in the mind of 


their arrival passed in reception, formal exchange 
of greetings and private interviews with Akbar. 
On the 18th of March, the first formal debate was 
held, the second on the 4th and the third on the 
6th of April. After that there is no chronological 
mention of debates. We have no definite infor- 
mation as to the exact points raised and discussed 
in different debates. But the nature and subject- 
matter of the debates have been gathered from 
the contemporary letters and despatches. The 
main point of Aquaviva was that when 
" Muhammad had acknowledged the divine origin 
of the Gospel, he was inconsistent in refusing to 
acknowledge the divinity of Christ." Further he 
contended, " the Gospel having been foretold in 
the Old Testament must be superior to the Quran 
which was not." 22 

The subsequent points of disputes were : 
(i) the character of Muhammad's heaven, (if) the 
outside witnesses of Christ's divinity, (iii) the two 
natures of Christ and (iv) the inconsistency of the 
Quran in its varying attitude towards the character 
of Christ's death. 

De Sousa adds certain other subjects of 
debates : (v) the absurdity of imputation that 
Christians had tampered with the text of the 
Bible, (vi) the doctrine of Trinity and Incarna- 
tion, (vii) the personal life and views of 

22 Commentaries, Memoirs, A. S. B, 1914, p. 24 (fc). 


The fathers generally used very strong words 
in their debates regarding Muhammad, and Akbar 
had to warn them more than once of the danger 
which they invited by such conduct. However, the 
priests could not explain the birth of Jesus, who 
according to them was the son of God and accord- 
ing to Muslims might have been the son of Joseph, 
the carpenter, with whom Mary was married. They 
could not fully explain the Trinity. 23 

On the whole the Fathers had a very willing 
and sympathetic listener in Akbar ; though not him- 
self ready to be converted, he gave permission to 
the priests to make conversions in the Empire. 
He himself showed honour to the priests 
by accepting Christian pictures with reverence. 
With his sons and courtiers, he visited their 
chapel and had the Bible translated by Abul 
Fazl. In the translation he asked Abul Fazl to 
use: "Ainamevay Gesa Chr/s/u," instead of 
usual * Bismillah~ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim 9 in order to 
create a Christian atmosphere in the subject of 
study of Christian doctrine. 

This liberal attitude of Akbar's mind towards 
the Christian Fathers and the concessions given to 
them in various ways have been interpreted by the 

22 The famous story of the fire ordeal between the Muslims and 
Fathers to prove the respective truths of Islam and Christianity needs 
no comment in the face of the wide diffeience of the facts as narrated 
by Badauni and by Monserrate. See Beveridge's note in Akbamaina, 
Vol. HI, p. 363. 


orthodox Muslims as his virtual lapse from Islam. 24 
The Christian priests in the despatches during 
this period gave a favourable impression of 
Akbar that he was almost willing to be converted 
to Christianity but for the fact he would have to 
give up all his wives if he became a Christian. 25 
Some asserted that Akbar promised to become a 
Christian if they could prove the Divine birth of 
Jesus and explain to him the significance of 
Trinity. 2fi Monserrate went so far as to say that 
Akbar promised to become a Christian even if 
it would lead to his abdication only if the Priests 
could explain to him Trinity and he promised to 
go to Goa for conversion on the pretext of 
pilgrimage to Mecca." 7 Similar gossips half-sense, 
and nonsense were sent to Goa and to Europe 
partly owing to the misreading of Akbar's mind 
and temperament and partly for the pupcse of 
showing that the mission was actually doing 

14 The attitude of the ladies of the harem towards Christianity 
was not what the priests deserved or desired Akbar 's mother ' to 
whom he denied nothing* wanted Akbar to tie the Bible round the 
neck of an ass and show about the town of Agra, just as the 
Christians tied a copy of the Quran round the neck of a horse and 
showed it round the town of Ormuz ; but Akbar refused the request 
of his mother saying, "if it were ill in the Portuguese to do so to the 
Al-Coran it became not a King to requite ill with ill, for that the con- 
tempt of any religion was the contempt of God and he would not be 
revenged upon an innocent Book." 

Laval, Hakluyat ^oc Journal 1888, Part I, p 252. 

56 Maclagan, op. cif , pp. 33-34 

27 Monsenate, Mem. A. S. B , Vol. Ill, 1914 folio 42 (a) 


their part of the work successfully. If the priests 
who were so near to Akbar could make such 
conjectures, the ordinary people living far away may 
be excused, if they made even wider conjec- 
tures regarding the religious views of that august 
monarch. The Mullas in their bigotry and disgust, 
and people in their ignorance and blindness inter- 
preted his liberal tendencies as having been actuated 
if not by love for Christianity, at least by hatred 
towards Islam. Just at that time rebellions were 
raging in Bengal and Behar in the East and in the 
Punjab and Kabul in the West. 28 During that 
psychological moment of unrest and uncertainty, 
many a wild rumour got current which added 
fuel of religious discontent to the flames of civil 
war engineered by the disgruntled jagirdars, ejected 
Qazis and soldiers whose pay had been reduced. 
According to Guerre iro, Akbar stopped all corres- 

28 Monseriate, commentaries, Mem. A S. B., Vol. Ill, 1914 Folio 
42 (a) said that the rebellion was against Akbar' s leaning towards 
Christianity. Smith, on the basis of the Jesuit testimony, said rliat these 
rebellions were religious in origin. EW is this all correct ? The rebellion 
began in Januaiy, 1580, for which preparations had been going on 
foi some time past Priests came on 28th February, 1580. So there 
can be no causal connection between the attitude of Akbar towards 
Christianity and the rebellion May be that at a later stage more 
fury was added to the rebellion owing to concessions having been 
granted to the Christians To accelerate the movement of the rebellion, 
the Mullas gave wide publicity lo Akbar 's leniency to Christianity. 
The priests, too, misinterpreted the liberalism of Akbar and embodied 
the popular gossips into their despatches and flattered themselves 
that they were winning the great Mughal to the Croat from th* 


pondence with the priests for allaying the discon- 
tent of the public. But we do not know wherefrom 
Guerreiro got his information. In the very same 
portrait where we meet Aquaviva, Hiravijay also 
occurs. Hiravijaya came in 1 582 ; so the discussion 
must be dated not before 1 582 ; thus Guerreiro is 
not correct. If Akbar stopped correspondence 
out of fear, Akbar would not have taken Mon- 
serrate with him as a tutor of Murad to Lahore. 

On the way to Lahore, Akbar asked Mon- 
serrate to explain to him : 

(1) Why did not Jesus come from the Cross 
if he was the Son of all powerful God ? 

(2) Why did Christ allow St. Thomas to put 
his hands into his wounds ? 

(3) What was meant by sitting at the right 
hand of God ? 

(4) Celebacy of the Clergy. 

(5) The Last Judgment. 

(6) The Status of Paraclets. 

(7) The relation between the Quran and the 

After return from Lahore the discussions con- 
tinued again, the subject-matter being (a) the 
attitude of the Quran towards unbelievers, (fe) 
distinction between Grace and Faith, (c) the Son- 
ship of Christ. 

Back to Sikri, the Emperor adopted some of 
the rituals and formalities of the Christians such as 
25 1280B 


' Bells ' ; as he had adopted the ' Rak.hi ' of the 
Hindus and ' Quese^ * of the Zoroastrians. 

At that time the relation between the Portuguese 
at Goa and the Mughal Governor in Guzrat had be- 
come definitely strained. Rudolf Aquaviva inform- 
ed the Emperor of this quarrel between the Portu- 
guese and the Mughals, and Akbar was " shocked 
at the news." Smith in his work made too much 
of this quarrel and attempted to prove ' the perfidy 
of Akbar ' as early as February, 1580. Says he, 
at the very moment when the missionaries w r ere 
approaching his court in response to the friendly 
invitation addressed to the Viceroy and other 
authorities of Goa, he had organised his army to 
capture the European ports." 129 Smith very intelli- 
gently wove the facts concealing the point of sore 
between the two. It was not the Mughals that 
opened hostilities but the Portuguese. Gulbadan 
Begam in 1575 was proceeding to Mecca but the 
Portuguese detained her ship near Daman and 
compelled her to cede to them the village of 
Butsar. When the Begam returned from Mecca, 
she ordered the Imperial officers ' to retake the 
village.' Kutubuddin, the Governor, attacked 
Daman where the village of Butsar was situated. 
This was a petty affair and even Monserrate 
admitted that ' the ordinary quarrels between the 
Muhammadans and the Portuguese developed 
into avowed hostilities.' When the position of 
the Portuguese was reduced to difficult straits, 


the Fathers were informed of this and Aquaviva 
complained to the Emperor who was really 
' shocked to hear the news ' and he regretted very 
much that the hostilities had begun. He said 
that ' he had no knowledge of the affair ' and 
Kutubuddin, as a senior official of a high rank, 
had acted on his own initiative/ The Fathers 
desired that the Emperor should rebuke the 
Governor which Akbar refused to do, for as he 
said, ' he could not well censure his viceroy for 
acts done with the intention of serving the public 
interest/ Inspite of the fact that Akbar knew the 
guilt of the Portuguese of Daman in compelling 
Gulbadan to renounce Butsar, inspite of the fact 
that the Portuguese were committing piracies in the 
Western Seas, inspite of the disadvantages to which 
the pilgrims were subjected by the Portuguese the 
Emperor was gracious enough to send orders 
recalling the troops from Daman ; his commands 
were obeyed immediately. 30 

30 If Akbar was actuated by a motive of destruction of the Portu- 
guese he was powerful enough to do so Akbar once sent Todar Mai 
in 1572 " to submit report as to how the port (Surat) could be taken. 
He reported that the capture of the fort could be very easily effected 
(Akbarna na, III, Bib. Indica, Beveridge, p 24 ) His fleet, as is given 
by Mukherjee (Indian Shipping, II, Ch. II), shows that it commanded 
strength enough to sink their entire fleet into the sea If his intention 
was all perfidious, he should not have ordered Kutubuddin to recall his 
troops from Daman. Smith wanted that Akbar would be as docile as a 
Mughal Emperor after the Dewani of 1765, so that the Portuguese would 
have an easy go into the main land Smith would have been glad if 
Akbar would have btvn lost into the sea of ielit?ious discussion with the 
priests while the Empire be sliced off the Indian seas by the Portuguese 


The mission stayed in India for 3 years and 
they grew impatient when they saw that Akbar 
was moving like a mirage. At times they found 
him so near to Christianity that they thought his 
conversion only a matter of hours and days. They 
more than once proposed conversion, but Akbar 
instead of a curt and blank refusal put the matter 
off without offending the feelings of the priests. 
When after three years of continuous efforts * the 
great Mogor ' was not converted, the Provincial of 
Goa grew impatient and asked the Fathers to return 
' with a discretion to stay, if they found it desirable.' 

The immediate occasion lor the break-up of 
the mission was the active part which Akbar took 
in a discussion between the Mullas and the Priests, 
in tavour of the former ;l in defence of Islam. 
Though for some time the actual break-up of the 
mission was postponed owing to the intervention 
of Abul Fazl, tae final dissolution was only a 
question of days. Aquaviva desired to go back 
to Goa but Akbar wanted him to stay. In the 
end, it was mutually arranged that Akbar should 
send an embassy to Europe to congratulate Philip II 
of Spain on his accession to the throne of Portugal 
and that Father Monserrate would form a member 
of the party along with Abdulla Khan and Muzaffar 
Khan. By then, Akbar had received an embassy 
from Queen Elizabeth of England who sent one 

31 Du Jarric, Payne's Translation, p. 35. 


Newbury with a request that he might be " honestly 
intreated and received*' and promised "to re- 
compose the same with as many deserts as we 
can." :w Father Aquaviva was allowed to return to 
Goa in May, 1583, on condition that he would 
return to Sikri after some time.' 53 
Was the mission a failure ? 

We think it was not, at least compared to what 
happened of the missions to Chengiz, Timur, or 
Kublei Khan. The distinct services rendered by 
the missions were : 

( 1 ) Permission was granted to make converts 
and build Churches. 

(2) Permission was granted to build hospitals 
in India. 

(3) Portuguese prestige in the central and local 

32 Fitch, p. 44. The political object of their embassy was to form 
a league against the Khalifa of Rum, who was a natural enemy of the 
Christians of Europe. Another embassy was to be sent to the Pope, 
the leader of Christianiiy ; the motive might have been to secure an 
ally against Rum Already Akbor ha i repudiated the Khelafat pieten- 
sions of Constantinople and declared himself Khalifa-uz-Zaman and his 
Kingdom as Dar-ul-Khelafat This proposed embassy to Spain and 
Rome was corollary to the recitation of the Khutba and issue of the 
'Mahzar' of 1579. 

33 He returned with a family of Russian slaves in the service of 
the harem. Aquaviva was killed by a mob near Salsette soon after. 
Du Jarric, Payne's Translation, p. 43. 

It is interesting to know that Akbar had an adopted son, a Christian 
boy named Zulqarnain ; he was brought up in the harem with great 
care. He ultimately became a governor of a province in the time of 
Jahangir and Shah Jahan. 


government was increased by the stay of the 
Fathers at the Imperial Court. 

(4) Their stay encouraged other nations of 
Europe to try their luck in the land of the Mughals. 

The Second Mission 
1591 A. D. 

After the departure of the first mission in 
1 583, there was a lull in the Christian activities 
for about 7 years till 1 590. Possibily the death of 
Aquaviva at the hands of the mob served as a 
brake to the march of the missions. During this 
period only two Christians, Newbury and Fitch, 
are heard of at Fatehpur Sikri ; but their object was 
not religious." 4 In 1590, one Greek sub-deacon 
named Leo Grimon on his way back to his 
country, appeared at the royal court at Lahore. 
Abul Fazl pictured Grimon as a man of sense 
and knowledge. He received high honours, and 
was put in charge of translation of some Greek 
books. During that period many Firingis and 
Armenians arrived at the court. On his way back, 
Grimon was charged with two letters addressed to 

34 Only two letters of 1590 and of 1591 by the Provincial al Coa and 
the General Secretary at Rome supply us information regarding the 
events of the period These letters have been reproduced in J.R A S , 
1896, Vol. LXV, pp. 62-63. The first letter of 1590 spoke of the arrival 
of the mission and its departure and that of 1591 narrated its failure. 


the Viceroy of Goa and to the head of the 
Society. The letters are really beautiful and are 
much more strongly- worded than the one preced- 
ing the first mission. Grimon asserted that the 
prospects of the mission were favourable. He 
further advanced that the King had destroyed the 
minarets and mosques which were being used as 
stables. The King ' dismissed all his wives 
and shew genuine respect for Christianity/ 3r ' 
Akbar even celebrated the day of assumption of 
Virgin in 1 590 by bringing out and paying 
respects to ' Our Own Lady/ " (> The report of 
Grimon roused enthusiasm of the Fathers of Goa 
to a pitch and there were innumerable applications 
for appointment to the missions even from the 
students of the College. Unfortunately two 
Fathers, Edward Leioton and Chistopher di Vega, 
and a lay Brother were chosen along with a Brother 
Estavas Rillerio. 

Work of the Mission 

The mission was very honourably received by 
the King. They were provided with residence in 
the royal palace. All necessaries of life were 

35 The story of dismissal and distribution of his wives was fantastic. 
Possibly Grimon misunderstood the regulation of 1587 when Akbar issu- 
ed his 'Ains' regulating the marriage. * In no case men should marry 
more than one wife unless the woman is barren or diseased ' 

36 Maclagan, op. eft, p. 48. Smith, Akbar, p 253 


supplied from the royal household. A school 
was started under their direction for the royal 
children and children of the nobility. The report 
of the Provincial written in November, 1591, 
showed that the Fathers were given definite 
instructions not to leave the court without com- 
pleting their work or without the express permis- 
sion of the superior authorities. But inspite of the 
instructions the missionaries suddenly returned to 
Goa within one year of their arrival. 

The reason for this sudden break-up of the 
mission is not mentioned anywhere. Maclagan 
suggests that the Fathers returned when they were 
opposed by a strong section at the court and 
when they thought that the King had no 
intention of accepting baptism. As Smith 
suggests, it is possible that the Fathers were * faint- 
hearted/ These Fathers were not fit to 
take up the task for which they had been sent. 
On the report of Grimon, the Fathers had probably 
concluded that Akbar's mental conversion was 
already complete and he was only waiting for a 
priest to convert him formally by giving baptism. 
They grew impatient when they found that the 
chance of conversion was every day growing 
remoter and remoter. Unfortunately for the 
Fathers, the Emperor was at that time very busy 
with wars in Sind and had no time to listen to the 
debates on religion or to attend to their sermons. 
They took it as apathy or antipathy towards 


Christianity and soon lost heart in the work and 

The second mission was entirely fruitless. 

The Third Mission 
1595-1605 A. D. 

The sudden collapse of the second mission 
created great dissatisfaction amongst the authorities 
at Goa as well as at Rome. Akbar, too, was not 
at all pleased with the way in which the Fathers 
fled away from their post. However, he was 
courteous enough to extend a fresh invitation 
through an Armenian Christian. The Viceroy 
was eager to accept the invitation, of course for 
political reasons though the religious motive was 
not altogether absent. The Provincial was hesitat- 
ing owing to the failure of the previous missions. 
Ultimately with the consent of the authorities of Goa, 
the invitation was accepted and the acceptance 
was subsequently ratified by the King of Spain. 

This time men were chosen very cautiously for 
reasons both political and religious, and the choice 
fell on Father Jerome Xavier, Father Emmanuel 
Pinherio and Brother Benedict of Goes with an 
Armenian guide who had conducted the tour of 
Rudolf Aquaviva. 

The mission started on December 4, 1594, and 
on the way met Murad, but he took no interest in 
the doctrines. Du Jarric says, " He had no respect 
26 1280B 


for the mosques of Muhammad which he seldom 
attended/ 1 ;: ' After a strenuous journey coveiing over 
5 months, they reached Lahore on the 5th of May, 

The history of the Third Mission may be 
conveniently studied in three well-defined periods 
till the end of Akbar's life as Mclagan has done : 

1 . Lahore period ... Three years and 6 months. 

2. Tourist period ... Two years and 6 months. 

3. Agra period ... Four years and 6 months. 

Unlike on previous occasions, the King avoided 
fiequent religious discussion for he feared misunder- 
standing unless the Fathers could follow Persian. 
During that time discussion on various topics was 
pursued The recent Portuguese conquest of Chaul 
excited admiration of Akbar. The King of Spain 
took much interest in the progress of the mission/ 8 
' for their services lo God and man/ Akbar showed, 
in his usual catholicity, a good deal of leniency in his 
dealings with the priests. He gave them seats near 
the cushion reserved for himself, and the Prince 
attended their chapel, showed reverence to pictures 
and clasped his hands. He went on his knees like a 
Christian prince when the priests recited their Lita- 
nies, wore the reliquary, which had the Virgin por- 
trayed on one side and Angus Dei on the other. 
He showed his collection of European books and 

37 Du Jarric, p. 57. 

38 Rehatsek, Calcutta Review, LXXXII, 1883, p. 9. 


gave them for the use of the priests. A school was 
started for the royal children at Lahore which 
exercised some influence over a number of Princes. 
He gave written permission to baptise all those who 
liked to be baptised. Salim has been portrayed as 
"a firm friend and protector of the mission/' 

Though regular religious debates were no longer 
held, '* disputes occasionally took place and we hear 
of Akbar setting his ' Chronoligist ' to dispute with 
Father Xavier regarding the possibilities of God 
having a son." 

During that period the description of Akbar as 
given by the Christians definitely portrayed Akbar as 
a non- Muslim. "At Lahore there was no mosque 
and no copy of the Quran ; people were killed for 
killing cows." Whatever the King s actual faith 
was, it was not Islam. He was a Hindu (Gentile). 
He followed the tenets of Jains <Vertas) He 
worshipped the Sun like the Parsees He was the 
founder of a new faith (secta pestilem et perniciosa) 
and wished to obtain the name of the Prophet. He 
had already some followers, but these were only 
obtained by bribery (sued auro con up/us). Nothing 
was further from him, at any rate, than the religion 
of Muhammad." 10 This picture of Akbar is rather 
modelled on the information supplied by Leo 

Maclagan, op cit., p. 54. 

io Maclagan, op. cit., p. 55. Compare Badauni, II, p. 2CM-206 Ain , 
Blochmann, Ain., Vol. I, p. 204, and Finherio as quoted by Smith, 
p. 262. 


Grimon and looks like translation of Badauni. The 
motives of both were the same, namely to paint 
Akbar as an apostate ; though from different angles, 
the lines of force met at one point. A man from 
outside, who did not understand the tendency of 
the Emperor, confused the eclecticism of manners 
and customs with the religion itself ; they misunder- 
stood the shell for substance. The reason for 
this portraiture served a twofold purpose, namely 
lo show that ' the great Mogor had ceased to be a 
Muslim ' and that the void caused by his lapse from 
Islam might be filled up by Christianity. That 
Akbar was a Muhammadan following the in- 
cumbent Islamic religious duties is proved by the 
fact of his offering prayer personally after the death 
of Abul Path Gilani and of Nizamuddin during 
and after the period of which Leo Grimon 

In 1 597, while Akbar sat on the throne of his 
palace at Lahore celebrating the festival of the 
Sun, ' fire came down from heaven/ 41 

The missionaries were so superstitious that they 
attributed the fire * to the anger of Heaven at the 
King's irreligious presumption/ After the fire, 
Akbar is said to have repaired to Kashmir and 
took with him Father Xavier and Brother Goes. It 
is suggested by Smith that after the fire of Lahore 
Akbar ceased to apostatize and returned to 

41 Maclagan, op cit., p. 55. Cu Jariic, Payne's 1 lanslalion, p. 74. 


Islam. 42 Of course, owing to the illness of both the 
priests there was no progress for sometime in their 
work. By November, 1597, the priests returned. 
On his way back Salim was attacked by a lioness 
but ' was saved by the Saviour's will,' as Jairic 
says, " in order that the Church might increase 
and many souls win salvation. " 4n 

The Fathers had by now completed two years 
but the much desired conversion of Akbar inspite 
of his acceptance of some of the Christian rituals 
was as distant as ever. But the King of Spain 
asked them ' to remain by the spot no matter one 
died or re-called.' Von Noer suggested that Akbar 
did not accept Christianity as he was disgusted lo 
hear of the Inquisition at Goa.^ But as Maclagan 
admits, there is nothing on the records to show that 
he had heard of the Inquisition. 1 ' 

12 Smith, relying on this story of the fire, built up the theory of the 
actual lapse of Akbar from Islam for 17 years from 15/8 to 1595. If 
actually Akbar returned to Islam aftei the file, it might have been just in 
the fitness of things that Akbar shouM have dismissed the Christian 
mission ; instead Akbar look the missionaries to Kashmir and continued 
his lavcurs to the priests So in our opinion, there was no 'falling off' 
nor 'coming in' of Aklar so far Islam was concerned. 

4:1 Payne, of>. cit. t p. 81. He says, " Prince Salim publicly expressed his 
devotion to our Lord and our Lady and placed their pictures, on which 
he delighted to t?aze in his own chamber." The more the conversion 
of Akbar seemed remote, the fairei grew the picture of Salim. The hope 
of the missionaries was now transferred from the father to the son. 
Father Xavier hoped, " God would one day work in him a great 
miracle," meaning ' conversion.' For details see Maclagan, op. cit.. 
Chap. IV. 

Von Noer, Kaiser Akbar, Vol. I, p. 486. 

45 Maclagan, op. cii., p. 66, footnote 17. 


Tourist Period (/598-/60/) 

Akbar though an old man now, personally went 
to the Deccan campaign and as usual, took Father 
Xavier with him ; Brother Goes remained at Agra. 
He was much troubled by the people but the 
authorities protected him. During that time (July 
1 599) Father Xavier complained that in course of 
a conversation, the Emperor " had shown much 
impatience and did not listen to the Christian priests 
properly. ' ' But Akbar had been struck with the death 
of Prince Murad just a month before and it was 
not possible for him to attend to the discourses with 
the same zeal and fervour with which he began them 
and of which we heard so much. 

But soon after, the Emperor had to go to the 
Deccan where the power oi Khandesh was causing 
him some anxiety. He moved personally. The 
seige of Asirgarh, the great fort of Khandesh, 
was a very important point in the history of Portu- 
guese missionary activities in India. Here the poli- 
tical side of the priests', undertaking was revealed in 
an ugly and unseemly manner. In need of an 
artillery, Akbar " called on Xavier and Goes to 
write to the Portuguese at Chaul for guns and muni- 
tions but Xavier refused on the plea that such 
action would be contrary to the Christian faith." 
The duplicity behind the refusal of Xavier was 
apparent. According to Du Jarric, the Khandesh 
forces had no less than seven Portuguese defending 


the fort of Asirgarh. Beveridge and Smith suggest- 
ed that the motive of Akbar behind the Deccan 
campaign was jhe complete destruction of the 
Portuguese and that ' the conduct of Akbar was 
only a treachery cloaked in friendship towards the 
Christian priests.' 4 * 5 If the conduct of Akbar was 
foul, we think the same charge is no less applicable 
to the Christians, who, while professing friendship 
to the Mughal Emperor and enjoying the Mughal 
hospitality in all its grandeur and splendour, were 
using their forces against their hospitable hcsl. 
This refusal of Father Xavier embittered Akbar 
so much that he would not permit the Fathers to 
come to his presence. After the fall of Asirgarh, 
Akbar, in his usual grace, forgot the duplicity of 
Xavier and excused the priests for they were till 
then too small for Akbar 's wrath. During the 
siege of Asirgarh the seven Portuguese officers 
were about to be punished cruelly ; but * ' they were 
saved by the request of Xavier, to whom they were 
handed over/' Still it is the treachery of Akbar ! 

Father Pinherio arrived soon after and was 
received in the same cordial way. Akbar had a 
discussion with him on the ceremony of the kissing of 
the Pope's foot by the Holy Roman Emperor and 

46 1 he one-sided view of Smith regarding the comparative value 
of the historical accounts of Abul Fazl, Faizi Sarhindi, Xavier and 
other Christian priests has been completely answered hy Payne in his 
masterly note on Smith's conclusions on the cause of ihe fall of Asir- 
garh. Payne, of>. cit. t Chap. II, note. 


the significance attached to this form of obeisance 
owing to the " Cross worn by the Pope upon his 
foot." 47 

Before leaving the Deccan, Akbar again sent an 
embassy to Goa for an alliance " for the despatch 
of skilled craftsman and for facilities for the pur- 
chase of precious stones and other objects." 48 Goes 
went with the embassy and returned to Agra with 
Father Antony Machado in 1602. 

The Agra Period (1601-05) 

Akbar came back to Agra in May, 1601 , from 
the Deccan, soon after Goes and Machado also 
reached. The number of missionaries was now 
the largest in Akbar 's court. Some time after 
Pinherio returned to Lahore but not before he had 
received a Farman. n The Farman granted permis- 
sion to the Christians to * make conversions, permit- 
ting such of his subjects as desired to embrace 
Christianity to do so without let or hindrance/ r ' 

47 Maclagan. of> cit., pp. 251-58. 
Ibid.. PP . 58-59. 

49 Journal of the Punjab Historical Society, 1916, The Mughal 
Farman, by Felix Vayle. 

50 If Akbar had become a Muslim again after the fire at Lahore, 
as has been alleged, it is inconsistent to say that he would give a general 
permission for conversion to Christianity, after his ' coming back.' As 
we have told before, Akbar neither ceased to be a Muslim nor had he 
come back. Mirza Azam Khan, who was\ member of the Din-i-Ilahi, 
opposed permission to the Christians for conversion why ? A member 
of the Din-i-Ilahi remained as much a Muslim as any other follower of 
the Faith and would hardly tolerate concession to any, other than the 
members of the brotherhood. 


Mirza Azam Khan who was a member of the Din-i- 
Ilahi strongly protested against the permission. 

After the grant of this Farman the priests 
thought that the task of conversion and evangelisa- 
tion of * the land of Mogor ' had become easy. 
But at Lahore they found a strong Viceroy, Quliz 
Khan, who has been described by the native 
historian 51 as a pious and learned old man, 
' feared in Hindustan as were formerly Nero and 
Diocletean.' The hatred of the priests could not 
altogether obliterate the better side of Quliz Khan's 
character. Quliz Khan treated Pinherio with court- 
esy, said a priest, * though he was not treated well 
at Court.' That Quliz Khan was not very ortho- 
dox is proved by the fact that he allowed his wife, 
son and daughter to visit the church. The opposi- 
tion which Quliz offered was not against Christianity 
but against the political designs of the Christians 
with which Quliz was conversant during his Vice- 
royalty of Guzrat, and which was gradually becom- 
ing prominent, partly owing to the indulgence given 
by the Emperor at Court. What Quliz Khan 
would not understand was the attack by the Father 
on Muhammad and that aroused the Viceroy's 
frenzy. Hence was the dark picture of Quliz Khan 
by the priests. Over and above the displeasure of 
the Muslim Governor, Pinherio was displeased with 
the Hindus, " for attacking them for their alleged 

51 Ain., I., Blochmann, p, 34. 
27 1280B 


immorality and infanticide." The Hindus returned 
hatred by alleging that Christians " ate human flesh 
and fattened up young men to be sold in Portu- 
guese lands and so forth." 62 The relation between 
the Christians and the Governor became so much 
strained that a day was fixed, the 1 5th September, 
1604, for the arrest of all wives and children of 
the Christians at Lahore. But it could not be 
carried into effect owing to the transfer of Quliz 
Khan to Agra. In his absence, his son Say id Khan 
and Mirza Abdur Rahim governed. The liberal 
spirit of Akbar had by then done its work and 
Sayid Khan was liberal enough to attend the 
Christian church ; he ate with them and listened to 
their Gospel stories and their discourse upon 
religious subjects. 53 

When Quliz Khan came back, Pinherio was 
very glad to see him ' ' forbidding deduction of the 
usual commission on a grant of a thousand xupees 
which the Fathers received from Akbar," and 
expressed great glee at the misfortunes of the 
Hindus who opposed him for some time back. 

At Agra, Father Xavier had opportunity of 
having discussions with Akbar and we have record 
of these discussions in Terry's Voyages to East 
India M divided under fourteen heads. But inspite 
of their best attempts they could not make Akbar 

* f Mac lagan, op ci'f., p. 60. 

/bid., p. 61. 

54 Terry, A. Voyage to East India, Ed. 1777, pp. 419-22, 


believe in the divinity of Christ. He ascribed 
the miracles of Christ to his knowledge of the 
science of medicine. 

So the troubles of the Christians did not come 
from the Muslims but from quarters unexpected 
and unsuspected. At Lahore a group of Armenian 
Christians began to look upon the Portuguese 
Fathers with suspicion. The cleavage was created by 
an English merchant adventurer Mildenhall, who 
acted as an ambassador from Elizabeth of England 
to further her political ends. Mildenhall's advent 
was the signal for a series of quarrels between the 
Portuguese and the English who coveted entrance 
into the ports of the Mughals. Inspite of the greatest 
opposition of the Portuguese Fathers, Akbar was 
' merrie enough ' to grant the English the right 
of entrance into the ports of the Mughals in 1604. 

Towards the later portion of the third mission 
when the Fathers found Akbar receding like a 
mirage, they set their heart on Prince Salim. 
Probably in the autumn of 1603, after the murder of 
Abul Fazl, when Salim was in an open rebellion, 
Father Xavier paid a visit to Salim at Sikri then a 
deserted city. We have no direct information as 
to the object of the visit but there is much scope for 
speculation with regard to the visit. 55 Soon after, 
we no doubt found Xavier and Machado following 
Akbar when he was marching against Salim to 

55 Smith, pp. 291-92. 

212 THE DiN-i-iLAHi 

Allahabad. In November, 1604, the happy recon- 
ciliation took place between the father and son 
amidst universal rejoicing. In September, 1605, 
the Emperor departed from this world, leaving the 
priests to make their final experiments with the son 
and to attempt to finish the half -achieved mission 
of their predecessors. 



(In the light of AbulFazl) 

Class I. Madhu Saraswati, Madhu Sudhan, 
Narayan Misra, Hariji Sur, Damodhar 
Bhat, Ram Tirth, Nara Singh, 
Parmindra, Aditya. 

Class 11. Ram Bhadra, Jadrup Narayan. 

Class III. Thelogians. 

Class IV. Narayan, Madhu Bhatta, Sri Bhatta, 
Bishnu Nath, Ram Krishna, Balbhadra 
Misra, Basudev Misra, Baman Bhatta, 
Bidya Nibas, Gauri Nath, Gopinath, 
Krishna Pandit, Bhattacharyya, Bhagi- 
rath Bhattacharyya, Kashinath Bhatta- 

Class V. Bijay Sen Suri, Bhas Chand.* 

Physicians. Mahadev, Bhimnath, Narayan, Siwaji 
(Tabqat also mentions Bhairam), 
Durga Mall, Chandra Sen (Surgeon). 

Musicians. Tansen, Baba Ram Das, Sur Das, 
Ranga Sen. 

* Bijmy Sen Suri and Bhas Chand have also been mentioned in 
the list of the Buddhist group. 


(In the light of Tabqat-i-Akbari) 

Number in Charge. 

1. Bihari Mai ... ... 5,000 

2. Raja Bhagwan Das ... 5,000 

3. Man Singh ... ... 5,000 

4. TodarMal ... 4,000 

5. Raja Rai Singh Bikanir ... 4,000 

6. Raja Jagannath ... 3,000 

7. RajaAskaran ... 3,000 

8. RajaLankaran ... 2,000 

9. Madhu Singh (Brother of Man 

Singh) ...... 2,000 

10. Raja Kanga ... 2,000 

11. Raja Gopal ... 2,000 

12. RajaBirbal ... - 2,000 

13. RajaSurjan ... 2,000 

14. Raja Rupsi (Bairagi) ... 1,500 

15. Jagat Singh (Son of Man Singh) 1,500 

16. Rai Monohar ... ... 700 (Ain) 

17. Raj Singh (Son of Askaran) ... 1,000 (Ain) 

18. RaiPatraDas ... 700 

19. Ram Das (Kachwaha) ... 500 (Ain) 

20. Medini Rai (Chauhan) 1 ,000, 700 (Ain) 

21. RajaBhoj ... - 1.000 





1. Jagannath. 

2. Rai Sil. 

3. Jagmal Pat war. 

4. Birbal (Birbar). 

5. Raja Dip Chand. 

6. Man Singh Darbari. 

7. Ram Das Kachwaha. 

8. Ram Chand. 

9. Sanwal Das (possibly painter). 

10. Jadu Kaith Darbari. 

11. HarDas. (Is he Patr Das?) 

12. Tara Chand Khawas (painter). 

13. Lai Kalanwant. (Is he Mia Lai " musician " 

of Blochmann, p. 612 ?) 

14. Parmanand, a relation of Todar Mai in charge 

of the fleet (Beveridge Ain., Ill, p. 97). 


1575-95 A.D. 

In the midst of the sea of religious discussions, 
Akbar did not lose sight of his Empire, its organisa- 
tion and administration. The problems of the 
Imperial Government were growing wider and 
wider every day. Since 1526 A.D. the Central 
Government at Delhi was passing through a course 
of uncertainty ;* unstability of the Sur Empire had 
been supplanted by a steady and settled system. 
The Empire was now an abode of peace and 
plenty. The reputation of a well-settled firm 
government reached far beyond the limits of 
Hindustan and the Empire attracted peoples from 
all climes and regions, the Shias from Persia, 
Uzbegs from Badakshan, Turks from Central Asia, 
Zoroastrains from Guzrat, Buddhists from Nepal 
and Kashmir, Jews from Sur in and Christians from 

1 (a} Humayun's flight, 1540. 

\b> SherShah, 1540-45. 

(0 Jalal Khan I Islam Shah), 1545-54. 

(dt Firoz Khan, 1554. 

(e) Mubariz Khan (Adil Shah), 1554-55. 

(/) Ibrahim Shah, 1555. 

(g) Sikandar Shah, 1555. 

(M Humayun, 1555-56. 

ii) Akbar (Bairam), 1556-60. 


European countries. The gates of Hindustan were 
open to all ; and the benevolent spirit of the Empire 
and the ungrudging patronage of Akbar served as 
incentives to all. Akbar himself took over the task 
of organising the army, and in this he was ably 
assisted by his Rajput generals. He placed the 
provincial administration under Raja Man Singh, 
the administration of revenue under Raja Todar 
Mai, the secretariat under Abul Fazl, the Sadr 
and Qazi administration under Sadr-us-Sudur and 
Mukhdum-ul-mulk and the department of culture 
under Shaikh Faizi. No department of the state 
was left untouched and Hindustan was pulsating 
with a new life in all her limbs. 

But the hand of Akbar was not a touchstone to 
turn every thing as he expected. The system of 
branding of horses and opening up of roll register 
created a good deal of opposition in the circles 
of feudal lords. The survey and settlements 
of land led to the dismissal of many Qazis and 
ejectments of Jagirdars. 2 The reorganisation 
of the judiciary ended in the dismissal of many 
bribe-taking Qazis.' 1 

The feudo-religious-cum-political rebellion cf 
Bengal and Behar necessitated appointment of 
Hindus and the promulgation of many new regula- 
tions and orders against the Mullas. 4 

1 Ain., Blochmann, pp. 203-09. 

3 Ibid., pp. 111-14. 

* See ante, Chapter IV, p. 56. 

28 1#OB 


The mismanagement in the distribution of 
" Sayurghal " lands and " Aymas " led to the trans- 
fer of the finance department from the hands of the 
Sadr-us-Sudur. 5 The introduction of the " Mansab- 
dari " system brought a large Hindu element in 
the army which was now manned over 50% by 
the " Kaffirs/' 6 The co-ordination of the different 
elements represented in the court ushered in a 
common formula of court formalities. 7 

Soon the social, economic and political regula- 
tions introduced by Akbar became the target of 
attacks by the orthodox sections of the state. They 
desired Akbar as a Musalman sovereign to pursue 
a pro-Muslim policy. Their angle of vision was 
exclusive and orthodox, and they interpreted all the 
regulations of the Emperor in an orthodox light. 
They asserted, *' In Islam there is nothing purely 
religious and nothing purely political." 8 The 
MuIIas interpreted the whole existence of a man, 
irrespective of time, place and circumstances from 

* See ante, Chapter IV, p 57. 

6 Erskine, An Empire Builder in the Sixteenth Century, Introduc- 

7 Ain., Blochmann, 65 (i) 

5 7 rouble arose out of the definition of " Injunction." It may 
mean four things : 

(a\ The Revelations of God -Quran. 
(b) The Sayings of the Prophet -Hadis. 
(o* The Legal Decisions and Juristic Precedents Fiqh. 
f rfi The Decisions of the Assembly Jam 'at. 

There are many in cipretations of the Injunctions, each claiming 
infallibility for itself, to the exclusion of all others. 


the standpoint of the Quran To many of them, 
non-observance of the minutest details of the in- 
junctions whether from the Quran, Hadis, Fiqh 
or Fatwa amounted to a lapse from Islam. 
According to the Mulla conception of the Religion, 
Islam is so rigid that there is no scope for compro- 
mise from any standpoint whatsoever. The Laws 
are so rigid that any man could be proved to be 
faithless if a shrewd Mulla simply likes to do 
so, for there are ever so many points in a man's 
life. 9 So far Akbar was concerned, curtailing of 
pension of the Mullas and Qazis, the liberal inter- 
pretation of the problems of Islam, withdrawal of 
the vested judicial rights from the hand of the 
theocratic side of the state offered innumerable 
opportunities to the Mullas for giving adverse ver- 
dict on Akbar. 10 

The charges of apostasy or irreligiousness that 
have been levelled against Akbar would not have 
come had he not attacked the Mulla interests from 
the secular point of the state. By way of example, 
we have depicted in the Appendix to this Chapter, 
the life, character, events and motives of Mulla 
Abdul Qadir Badauni, a great Mulla of the age 
and one of the bitterest critics of Akbar, which 
will illustrate our reflections on the Mulla point of 
view of criticism. 

9 A man ceased to be an orthodox Muslim if he wears a per; a ma 
below his ankle, according to some orthodox school. 
* See ante Chapter IV, pp. 73 80. 


Let us now give a list of the regulations that 
were promulgated by Akbar chronologically, 11 so 
that it maybe easily followed by the readers. 

1575-76 A.D. (1) Mu'tah marriage was allowed. 

(2) Chronogram of the seal was 

inscribed " Allah-o-Akbar" 
nstead of usual ' ' Bismillah- 
ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim.' ' 

(3) Order was issued to write a 

Commentary on the Quran. 

(4) The Atharva Veda was taken 

up for translation. 

1 576-77 A.D. (1 ) Pilgrim department was open- 
ed with a Superintendent 
of Pilgrims (Mir-i-Haj). 

1577-78 A.D. (1) Royal hunt was stopped. 

(2) Khutba was read in Akbar 's 

1 578-79 A.D. (1 ) Tajuddin introduced Sijdah at 


(2) Coming of the Christians to 
court and Abul Fazl under- 
took to translate the Bible 
with the headline, 

11 The Hijri dates have been synchronised with Christian dates by 
Prof. Brendiy. 


Aye name weye Gesu Chrisiu " 

instead of ** Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim. 

(3) " Madad-o-ma ash " was to 

be scrutinised and the 
boundary of the " Aymas " 
was to be fixed. 

(4) The "Mahzar" or the so- 

called Infallibility Decree was 

1579-80 A.D. (1) Shaving of beard was permit- 
ted by a Fatwa of Haji 

(2) Hakim-ul-mulk was sent to 
Mecca with Rs. 50,000 for 
the Sharif s. 

1580-81 A.D. (1) The oath of allegiance was 

demanded and the so-called 
four degrees were defined. 
(2) The Nauruz-i-Jalali was cele- 
brated with great eclat. 

1 581-82 A.D. (1 ) The rebellious Shaikhs and 

Mullas were transported to 
Qandahar where they were 
exchanged for colts. 

1 582-83 A.D. (1 ) Din-i-Ilahi was promulgated. 

(2) Tarikh~i~Alfi was begun. 

(3) Wine selling was restricted. 

(4) Prostitutes were segregated. 


(5) Boars and dogs were reared up 

and meat of boar and tiger 

(6) Silk dress and gold were 

allowed to be worn. 

(7) Marriage was regulated. 

(8) Sradh after death was dis- 


(9) Azan, Prayers, Fast, Pilgrim- 

ages were regulated and 
* spurious Qurans ' were des- 
troyed in the centres of 

(10) Reading of Arabic was dis- 

couraged amongst the mass 
and curricula of education 
changed . 

(11) Names of Ahmad, Muham- 

mad and Mustafa were 

(12) "The Assembly of Forty*' 

(Chihil Tanari) was estab- 

1 583-84 A.D. (1) Animal slaughter was regu- 

(2) Mosques were changed into 

stables in centres of rebellion. 

(3) Poor houses were started with 

separate establishments. 


(4) Dice play and interest taking 
were allowed. 

1584-85 A.D. (1) Ilahi Era was introduced. 

(2) New basis of computation of 
almanac was accepted accord- 
ing to the sun. 

1 585-86 A.D. (1) Hindu social manners were 

introduced in Royal harem 
during the marriage of 

(2) The dead were to be buried 

with heads towards the east. 

(3) Brahmins were allowed to 

decide litigations of Hindus. 

(4) "Allah-o-Akbar" was intro- 

duced as mode of greetings 
instead of " Alai^um-us- 

1586-90 A. D. (I) Flesh of cows and buffaloes 

were prohibited. 

(2) Sati was discouraged. 

(3) Circumcision was not to be 

done before 1 2 and that too 
was optional. 

1591-92 A. D. (1) Badauni summarily referred to 

many regulations but no 
specific mention was made. 


1 592-93 A.D (1) Regulations were made regard- 
ing the burial or cremation 
of a " Darshaniya." 
(2) All marriages were to be 
entered into register. 

1593-94 A.D.-(l) Freedom of building a church 

was granted to Christians. 
(2) Toleration was granted to all 

Islamic Canons of Test of Law 

We shall now proceed on to test how far these 
regulations were anti-Islamic. What are the canons 
of test according to Islamic principles? There are 
usually four kinds of Injunctions : 

1 . Religious. 

2. Social. 

3. Cultural. 

4. From the point of etiquette. 

Of the religious groups there are different grades : 

(a) Farz, (^>j-*) incumbent such as Prayer, non- 
obseivance of which will mean lapse from Islam. 

(b) Wajeb C-r^l;), a religious duty but not incum- 
bent, non-observance of which is sin, not amount- 
ing to a lapse from Islam, such as Korbani, sacrifice 
of animal on certain days, (c) Sunnat-i-Mul&ada 

" Do as Muhammad did " and asked 


his followers to do. Non-observance of this kind 
of injunction is a sin but not as solemn as 
Wajeb, such as Tarabi in Ramzan accord- 
ing to a fixed process. (d) Sunnat-i-Ghair- 
Mu'kk.ada (actf'y* ^c u^L.), actions which were 
performed by the Prophet but not insisted upon by 
him, non-observance of which did not amount to 
a sin, such as N amaz-i-T uhajjud prayer after 
2 o'clock at night. 

So far as the injunctions that relate to society, 
culture and etiquette are concerned, it is definitely 
stated in the Hadis that they are in no way binding 
and changes may be allowed according to time, 
place and circumstances. The Khalifas (Com- 
manders of the Faithful) have proved by their life 
and actions that changes and departures might be 
allowed as might be demanded by time, place and 
circumstances. The treaty of Badr is an eloquent 
testimony to what the Prophet himself did to meet 
the convenience of the conquered Jews. 

Even amongst the injunctions that are " Farz, ' 
incumbent, there are two groups : 

(f) Halal what may be done or may not be 
done, such as eating of flesh as sanc- 
tioned by the Shariat. 

(H) I Jar am what must not be done, 
such as idol worship, wine drinking. 

The infringement of a haram regulation 
makes a man laps 3 (rom the faith but of a halal 
regulation makes a man an ordinary sinner. 
29 -1280B 



As has been pointed out, the Ibadat Khana was 
built in 1575, and soon after discussions followed. 
It was an age of Scholasticism and Renaissance. 
The spirit of the age was the quest of the why and 
wherefore of everything, not always in a spirit of 
protest, but most often in a spirit of enquiry. 
Many obsolete, naughty or innocent problems were 
introduced as apples of discord in the intellectual 
gymnasium of the Ibadat Khana. Badauni says, 
4 * Crowds of the learned men from all nations 
came to the court, and were honoured with private 
conversation. After enquiries and investigations 
which were their only business and occupation day 
and night, they would talk about the profound 
points of science and subtleness of revelation, the 
curiosities of history and wonders of nature, on 
subjects of which large volumes could give only an 
abstract summary. ' ' 

Mutah Marriage Allowed 

Thus "marriage" was one of the first 
questions debated upon. 12 Fortunately or unfortun- 
ately Akbar had many wives as many as any of his 
predecessors had, much more than the orthodox 
number ; but as a pious Sunni he could not have more 
than four at a time. The traditions on the point 

1* Badauni, II, Lowe, Ed 1884, p 263. 


were so many and so divergent. Akbar was 
permitted to marry beyond the prescribed 
number according to the Fatwa of the Chief 
Qazi of the State. And there were precedents for 
the same. One of the Mujtahids Abu bin Laila 
had as many as nine wives from too liberal an 
interpretation of the Quranic verse, " marry what- 
ever woman you like, two and two, and three and 
three, and four and four/' 13 Badauni related 
many interesting details concerning the discussion 
on this problem in the Ibadat Khana. Imam Malik 
decreed, " by Mu'tah (not by Nikah) a man might 
marry any number of wives he pleased." One night 
Akbar invited Qazi Yakub, Abul Fazl, Ibrahim 
and Badauni to a discussion near Anuptalao where 
Badauni gave his opinion as follows : 

" The conclusion which must be drawn from so 
many contradictory traditions and sectarian customs 
is in a word this : Imam Malik and the Shias are un- 
animous in looking upon Mu'tah marriage as legal ; 
Imam Shafii and the great Imam (Abu Hanifa) look 
upon Mu'tah marriage as illegal. But should at 
any time a Quazi of the Maliki sect decide that a 
Mu'tah marrige is legal, it is legal according to the 
common belief even for the Shafiis and Hanafis." 

This view of Badauni pleased Akbar very 
much. But Qazi Yakub was much annoyed with 
this decision and openly expressed his dissent. 

13 Badauni, II, p. 213. 


The Emperor thereupon dismissed Yakub and 
appointed Qazi Hosain in his place who im- 
mediately decided that Mu'tah marriages were 
legal. This led to the dismissal of many Qazis 
and discomfiture of the Sadr and Mukhdum. " From 
this day forward the road of opposition and 
difference in opinion lay open,'' says Badauni. 14 
Thus the dissensions grew after Badauni 's decision 
and Akbar was not responsible for the decree on 

Allah-o-Akbar in the Seals and Dies of his Court 
1575-76 A.D. 

In place of usual " Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir- 
Rahim " Akbar wanted to substitute a " simpler, 
shorter phrase of sweeter sound Allah-o- Akbar." 
Before he decided it finally, he enquired how the 
people would like it. Many liked the substitute 
but Haji Ibrahim suggested that the phrase 
"Allah-o- Akbar" had an ambiguous meaning as 
it might mean Allah is great or Allah is Akbar. 15 
Haji Ibrahim suggested "Ala Zil^rullahae 
A^bam." 16 Akbar was very much displeased 

1* Badauni, II, p. 213. 

15 /bid., p. 213. 

1 6 Literally it means, "To remember God is the greatest thing. " 
The title of Zill-ullah or Miadow of God was already assumed by 
Sultans like Iltutmish, Balban, Firoz, Shershah. Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi by 
Ziauddin Barni, pp. 70-75 and Tabqat, p. 230. 


that his words had been so distorted and he only 
told, " no man who felt his weakness would claim 
Divinity." This showed the angularity of Haji 
Ibrahim and spirit of humility that ran through 

Commentary on the Quran 

1575-76 A.D. 

Qazi Jalaluddin was asked to write a com- 
mentary on the Quran along with other Mullas. 
Badauni says that this led to great dissensions 
amongsl them and sharply divided the theocratic 
par;y into two groups. Thus unconsciously 
Badauni gave Akbar a compliment. The marriage 
debate had exposed the diversity of interpretations 
of the sacred texts and variety of texts themselves. 
Indeed Akbar was justified in his desire to have 
an authorised commentary, all the more so when 
he found that the commentary led to " great 
dissensions. ' If Mullas differed so much amongst 
themselves, certainly Akbar would incur the wrath 
of one or the other party of the Mullas according 
as he would accept or reject their interpretations 
and comments. Later on we shall find that it is 
these interpreters who by their conduct were more 
responsible for " leading Akbar a way from the 
path " if he had done so. 


Translation of Sacred Hindu Books 

1575-76 A.D. 

The Atharva Veda was given for translation 
to Bhawan, a Deccani Brahmin; Shaikh Faizi, 
Badauni and Haji Ibrahim also took part in it. 
Besides the funny comments made by Badauni on 
the Atharva Veda, he took Akbar to task for 
translating Hindu Books. Badauni in his fanati- 
cism refused to observe that long before him, the 
Hindu religious books and philosophy and no fess 
Greek had been filtered into Islam through tran- 
slation. Harun-al-Rashid, and Shah Mansur were 
famous translators ; a peep into Sultan Mahmud's 
or Alberuni's archives, 17 even of orthodox Firoz 
Tughluq's would convince us that Badauni in 
opposition was only out-Islamising Islam and that 
too not in a spirit worthy of his knowledge. 

Pilgrim Department Opened 

1576-77 A.D. 

Sincerity and devotedness of Akbar 's soul during 
this period is very well illustrated by organisation 

17 Names of Sanskiit books translated by Alberuni may be found in 
Sushan's Introduction, E. & D., Vol. VI, Appendix to last chapter. 
See my article, published in ' Bulbul,' Calcutta, in 1936, July and " Arab 
aur Hindiwthan Ke Taloqat " by Yusuf Suleiman Nadvi, Allahabad. 


of the pilgrim department at the expense of the state 
which has already been referred to in chapter 
III. 18 Haj (pilgrimage) is an incumbent duty for 
a Muslim of means and no Indian Muslim 
sovereign not even Aurangzeb, undertook a pilgri- 
mage to Mecca. To the credit of Akbar it must 
be said that, if politics prevented him from under- 
taking a journey, he gave all facility for the same to 
all of his subjects. The pilgrim department of 
Akbar will ever remain a glorious chapter in the 
life and achievement of the greatest of the Muslim 
Kings of Hindustan. He had his own fleet for 
pilgrimage named " Jahaj-i-Ilahi " which contained 
one hundred ships. 19 

Kamargah Hunt 
1577-78 A.D. 

While on his usual royal hunt, he had a trance 
and he immediately stopped royal hunt. This is 
the beginning of his prohibition of animal 
slaughter. Akbar has been much condemned 
for stopping animal slaughter and this has been 
ascribed to the Buddhist and Jain influence. But 
chronology tells us that the background of these 
humanitarian regulations may be found in the 
innate contemplative humanitarian instinct of Akbar, 
not traced to the Jains and Buddhists who 
came after 1880. Trances were not new to his 

W See ante, Chapter III, pp. 63-64. 
" Badauni, II, pp. 260-61. 


experience. Late in life, the Emperor is said to have 
cried out in agony oi soul, " Oh, had I the body as 
big as that of an elephant so that all world might 
feed on it ! " There was no question of Jain and 
Buddhist influence in the stopping of animal 
slaughter, it came as a matter of course. 

Khutba Read in the Name of Afybar 
1577-78 A. D. 

As has been pointed out in the Appendix to 
Chapter IV on the so-called Infallibility Decree, the 
recital of the Khutba had a deeper significance than 
an ordinary recital of the same. 

1 578-79 A.D. 

In this year, as Badauni says, Shaikh Tajuddin 21 
introduced Sijdah (Prostration) and called it 
Zaminbos (kissing the ground). " Looking on 
the reverence due to a King as an absolute 
religious command, he called the face of the 
king as Ka'ba-i-Muradat (Sanctum of desires) 
and Qibla-i-Hajat (Goal of necessities)." Akbar 

50 See ante, Chapter V, p. 94; J.R.A S., 1924, p. 594. Khutba was 
read in personal names by almost all the Sultans of India including Firoz 
Shah, even by some provincial governor*. Lane-poole, Coins of Bi. 
Museum, pp. 73-75. 

'1 Badauni, II, pp. 266-67. 


has been much maligned for this Sijdah. V. A. 
Smith says that Akbar almost claimed divinity 
by demanding Sijdah which was due to God only. 
Blochmann suggests that ** starting from divine 
right theory of kingship, Akbar almost claimed 
divinity in the end." Mulla Sheri wrote a satire, 

The king this year has laid claim 

To be a prophet. 
After the lapse of a year, please God, 

He will become God." 

Now the question is, whether Sijdah is claimed by 
God only and is due to Him, or precedents showed 
that it was sometimes offered to men too. The next 
point is, whether Akbar introduced it as a religious 
command or as a court custom, as he did introduce 
many other customs. 

Really in the orthodox sense, Sijdah could be 
claimed by God only and is due to God alone and 
to none else. But in some sacred books there are 
references against this view. " Sijdah is due to 
God and to one who has been made complete " 
and " into whom has been breathed My (God's) 
inspiration." As such, angels were asked to make 
obeisance to Adam. They did obeisance but 
Iblis did not. 22 In this sense as Shaikh Tajuddin 
held, " if obeisance is due to one who is complete, 

n Quran, edited by Muhammad All, Note on SijdaH, 


certainly the King who is the Insan-i-Kamil or the 
most perfect man, is a fit subject for Sijdah " and 
it is called Sijdah-i-Tazim. 

Possibly in this light Shaikh Taijuddin brought 
forward some apocryphal traditions and practices of 
some of the disciples of Shaikhs of India. 23 Yakub 
of Kashmir, one of the greatest of the authorities on 
religious matters also supported the view without 
entering into the logical discussions. Apart from 
the questions, whether Akbar as the shadow of 
God or as the most perfect man was entitled to 
Sijdah or not, let us accept the orthodox view that 
Sijdah is offered only to God and to none else. 
Now the question is, whether Sijdah introduced by 
Akbar was a religious command or a simple court 

AbulFazl in his Ain. No. 74 24 described Sijdah 
in connection with " Taslim." After narrating the 
custom of Kurnish, Taslim and a new mode of 
court etiquette that was introduced by Humayun, 
Abul Fazl passed over to SJjdah. This shows that 
it was a part of the court customs, and it had very 
little connection with religion, if any at all. Abul 
Fazl said that some people objected to this form of 
obeisance and "His Majesty ordered it to be dis- 
continued by the ignorant and remitted it to all 
ranks, forbidding even his private attendants from 

13 Jn Islam Kings alto are called " Zil-1-ullah," shadow of God. 
54 Ain., Biochmann, pp. 158-59. 


using it in the Darbar-i-Am. 25 It was only allowed 
for "the eclect to do so." And he called it 
Zaminbos ' ' (kissing the ground) . 

Now to Sijdah as a family custom : Kissing the 
ground was a ceremony in the maternal side of 
Akbar ; when Kayuk Khan was chosen as the 
Khaqan " the members of the assembly prostrated 
themselves nine times, and the vast multitude out- 
side at the same time beat their foreheads to the 
ground ; Kayuk and followers then went and did 
obeisance three times to the sun. " 2( At the time 
of Akbar, another new custom of dinner table 
was introduced when Akbar 's Central Asian cousin 
Mirza Suleiman came from Badakshan to Hindu- 
stan. 27 " Horsetail " and " Kettledium " as 
military honours were already Jn vogue and were 
given to Beharimal ; they were Central Asian 

Moreover if Zaminbos was so obnoxious and 
anti-Islamic, why should Badauni submit to that 
formality? Even as early as 1 577 and as late as 
1593, Badauni offered Zaminbos. 28 The text of 

25 Zamibos was introduced in India by Balban and it was continued 
till the time of Firoz Tughluq. Similarly ' Polos ' was a common 
court custom during the Sultanate period. Islam Shah Sur would 
not be satisfied till he had received homage to his shoes by the noble- 
men of his court. Tripathi, Some Aspects of Muslim Administration, 
p. 61. 

26 Howorth, op. cit. I, p. 163. 
W Badauni, II, p. 220. 

28 J.R. A.S., 1869, article by Blochmann. Sayids were also exempted 
from Sijdah. 


the treaty with Ranthambhor in 1569 showed 
that the proud Rajput House 20 should not be com- 
manded to make the prostration (Sijdah) on entering 
the Royal presence. 30 And this treaty was drawn 
up 12 years before the so-called apostasy of Akbar. 
This treaty definitely proves that Sijdah did exist in 
some form or other long before the promulgation of 
the Din-i-Ilahi . 

Translation of the Bible Undertaken 
1578-79 AD. 

Abul Fazl was entrusted with the translation 
of the Bible. Orthodox objection to this translation 
was based on three grounds : 

(i) Why should he go in for the translation of 
the Bible, a Christian Scripture? 

(ii) The translation was made because he be- 
lieved in the doctrines of Christianity and did it in 
order to propagate that faith. 

(HI) The translation of the Bible began with 
" A i Name Wey Jesu Christu " instead of usual 
" Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Rahim." 

Badauni being a student of history should not 
have taken exception to the translation of the Bible, 
for translations of sacred books of other religions 
were common in Central Asian and Arabic houses. 
In our chapter on Central Asian Background, we 
have shown that a love of culture had pervaded the 

19 Smith, Akbar, p. 99. 
3 o Ibid., p. 99. 


family of Chengiz and Timur and it was almost 
instinctive in those families. Discussion on religions, 
acquaintance with other nation's Revelations and 
attempts of Kublei Khan to find a common synthetic 
formula would always shine as glorious examples of 
inquisitive Central Asian minds. 

Now the Semitic Arabs excepted, Khalifas like 
Omar, Mansur, Harun-al-Rashid, have their contri- 
butions to make. Sultan Mahmud, Mansur, Falaki, 
Alberuni (the scholar), Khalid Khani and Zainul 
Abdin, a court writer of Firoz, are famous for 
their collections and translations from Scriptures 
of other nations. So, by tradition Akbar made no 
departure from Islamic Canons when he ordered the 
translation of the Bible. 

Then Badauni wanted his readers to understand 
that ' * His Majesty firmly believed in the truth of 
Christianity and wishing to spread the doctrine of 
Jesus, ordered prince Murad to take a few lessons 
in Christianity under good auspices and charged 
Abul Fazl to translate the Gospel." Now the 
Christians arrived on the 28th of February, in 1578, 
and Akbar ordered the translations of the Bible in 
March. Was he so completely influenced by the 
Jesuit Fathers that within less than four weeks of 
their arrival he believed in their doctrines and 
wishing to propagate them, had the Bible trans- 
lated? It looks rather strange for a man like 
Akbar ; at least subsequent readings of Akbar's 
life do not support it. 


Badauni's great proof of Akbar's apostasy is 
that Akbar asked Abul Fazl to begin the translation 
with " Ai Name Wey Jesu Christu " and omit 
" Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Rahim " ; Faizi further 
completed that couplet adding " Subhanaka la 
SiwakaYahu."* 1 

Badauni intended his readers to believe that the 
change anticipated the anti-Islam and proved the 
pro-Christian in Akbar. But far from it. A 
Christian title was given to the Christian Book in 
order to create a Christian atmosphere as he did 
attend the discussions of the Hindu Yogis with 
Hindu marks on his forehead, or of the Zoroastrian 
Mobeds with fire lit up, or of the Jesuits with Portu- 
guese costumes on. If he had done it only with 
the Christians there might have been some reason 
for thinking in the way of Badauni. But he did it 
with every faith he came in contact with to create 
local atmosphere. Thus when the Bhagabat Gita 
was translated, the head line used was " Om 
Sachchidanand.'* B2 

The tendency of Akbar even after the transla- 
tion, says Badauni, was that especially on Friday 
nights " he would sit up there the whole night 
continually occupied in discussing questions of 

31 Mir Taqi Similar passages were the common fashion amongst 
free thinkers. 

12 Rahim began his Madanastak with Sri Ganesh ; Ahmad began 
his Samudrika Ganesh ; and Ahmadulla invoked Sri Ram, Swaraswati 
and Ganesh in his Nayika Bhed. 


religion whether fundamental or collateral," ns 
Soon after this Badauni tells us, "Akbar distri- 
buted a charity of five lacs of rupees to the Sharif s 
of Mecca through Hakim-ul-mulk." The tendency 
of the mind of Akbar as characterised during this 
period definitely proves that Akbar could not have 
been actuated by so deep a belief in Christianity 
as to order the translation of the Bible. Badauni 's 
statement is self -contradictory. 

1 578-79 A.D. 

During this year Madad-o-ma'ash were reorga- 
nised and " Mahzar " was issued. 

The significance of these actions has already 
been elaborately discussed in Chapter IV and they 
were more political than religious if at all. 

Shaving of Beard Permitted 
1579-80 A.D. 

Shaving of beard was permitted by a Fatwa of 
Haji Ibrahim. 

This was a social custom, the infringement of 
which did not amount to a lapse from Islam. 
Regarding the shaving of beard there was a discus- 
sion and there were some apocryphal traditions 
in its favour as advanced by Haji Ibrahim. No 
doubt the orthodox section did not approve of 
shaving of beard. 

33 Badauni, II, p. 262. 
3 * Leicester University Lecture, Buckler History Section, 1924, 


But if the shaving of beard meant a lapse from 
Islam, we think more than half of the Muslim 
world has lapsed from faith. 

The Oath of A llegiance and ' * Four Degrees 

1580-81 A.D. 

The promulgation of the Mahzar and the recita- 
tion of the Khutba had great political significance. 
Akbar was conscious that a flutter had been created 
in many circles. He intended to guard against all 
contingencies. In Islam, it was a time of great 
political murders and mishaps. Shah Tahmasp 
had been murdered in Persia ; Vizier Sokoli in Rum 
was assassinated ; the Ismailia assassins had created 
a terror in the minds of men. Already a rebellion 
had broken out in Bengal, Behar and in the Punjab ; 
and his own officer Shah Mansur was found to 
have been implicated in it. Akbar did not know 
where to place his confidence, and where and when 
not. So he wanted a formal declaration of allegiance 
by means of Oath of Fealty. It was a sort of Test 
Act. The test was the readiness to sacrifice Pro- 
perty, Life, Honour and Religion indeed the best 
treasures in a man's life. To begin with, this oath 
of allegiance 35 had nothing to do with his religion 
it was purely a state affair. Smith cunningly 
proclaimed that they were the famous four degrees 

3* Oath of Allegiance was common in the Abbas id period of Khela- 
fat History. 


of his Din-i-ilahi. But he did not mention the 
dates of the two events ; four degrees were defined 
on the 25th of February, 1581, and the Din-i-Ilahi 
was promulgated in 1 582 (February). So this 
difference in time, the oath preceding the religion 
is very significant. Smith 50 has quoted from Badauni 
and incidentally he has referred to a letter from 
Mirza Jani of Thatta. We have already pointed 
out that Badauni wrote his Muntakhabut Tawarikh 
in 1 592-93 and as such it was easy for him to 
connect the two. May be that in the form of 
initiation the formal declaration contained four 
similar points, but it does not necessarily follow that 
they were meant for all and sundry, as Badauni 
himself admitted in the next line that the courtiers 
only used to recite the Declaration. 

In this year, the Ilahias were arrested for their 
alleged apostasy from Islam and punished. This 
proves beyond doubt that heresy against Islam was 
not tolerated by Akbar. 

Nauruz~i-Jalali Celebrated 
1580-81 A.D. 

This Persian festival was celebrated with great 
festivity and ceremonies in this year. Probably this 
was to allay the Persian Shia discontent which might 
have developed in Persia owing to assumption 
of his Khelafat title some time back. The Persians 

36 Smfcfc, Akbar, p. 215. 
31 1280B 


were at the back of the rebellion of Mirza Hakim. 
So gorgeous Persian ceremonies were celebrated in 
order to soothe the feeling of discontent that might 
exist amongst them. 

Expulsion of the Mullas 

1581-82 A.D. 

The insinuation of Badauni and of Smith was 
that behind the expulsion of the guardians of Islam, 
the Mullas, the anti-Islamic feeling of Akbar had 
its full play. But, as has been pointed out in 
Chapter IV, 37 it was the rebellious Mullas who had 
made his throne tremble, and it was they who were 
expelled. A rebel was a rebel whether a believer or 
nonbeliever ; the sting of an arrow of a believer is 
not sweeter than that of a non-believer. Fortunate 
were these Mullas that they were not trampled 
under foot of elephants and that Akbar was not 

1582-83 A.D. 

This year was really a vital one in Akbar's 
life. Badauni mentioned about a dozen and a half 
regulations in this year by which he tried to prove 
that the promulgation of the Din-i-Ilahi was accom- 
panied by many other socio-religious changes partly 
as adjuncts to the new creed and partly as measures 
against Islam. 

3T Sec ante, Chapter, IV, pp. 1 1 M 14, 


Though they have all been placed in the same 
year, really they were not of the same year ; 
without a diary at hand and writing history long 
after, Badauni placed all of those regulations together, 
in order to give more force to his conclusions 
regarding Akbar's deviation from Islam. We shall 
take up some important regulations of this year, 
and shall try to show that inspite of them, Akbar 
was not an apostate even if these regulations had 
really been promulgated by him. 

" The Era of One Thottsan d " A Ifi Era of 
Thousand Years introduced 

1582-83 A.D. 

If this change was introduced with a desire of 
slighting Islam, why was not the monogram on 
coin made compulsory? In his coins, we find 
both new and old monograms ; we have instances 
of Islamic monarchs using non-Hijri eras in some 
places. Even Muhammad used Rumi era himself ; 
Hijri was inaugurated by Khalifa Omar and the 
Hijri era was not a religious injunction. It had 
no connection with his commandments. Another 
reason for starting the new era was his attempt to 
introduce more astronomically scientific era instead 
of the current lunar Hijri era which is astrono- 
mically defective. This attempt of Akbar to 
change the mode of computation had precedents 
in Omar Khayyam, the great astronomer-poet of 


Persia who tried to bring some changes in Hijri 
era owing to the fundamental defects of lunar cal- 
culation. Alberuni, the great scholar of Ghazni, 
drew attention to this defect of lunar calculation.' 58 
The mode of computation in Hindu almanac was 
also changed in 990 A.H. That clearly proves the 
angle from which Akbar brought in the changes in 
the defective system of both Hindu and Muslim 



1582-83 A.D. 

The history of 1 ,OCO years was to be written. 
Akbar ordered that the date should be calculated 
from the death of the Prophet and not from 
the " flight," as was accepted by the ortho- 
dox. As Badauni says that Akbar 's ground for 
making the change was that the " flight " was 
derogatory to him, so the date should commence 
with his demise. Right or wrong, it is a matter 
of opinion. But there was much boldness in his 
conception and more in the execution. 

Wine Selling Regulated 
1582-83 A.D. 

Use of wine was allowed officially by Akbar, a 
Muslim King. Badauni 's great objection was that 
Akbar being a Muslim sovereign should not have 
formally allowed wine in the face of the strictest 

36 Encyclopaedia of Religion, see art. Omar Khayyam. 


injunction to the contrary. Badauni, inspite of his 
great knowledge of history, forgot that in the Turko- 
Mughal families, wine was almost a family trait and 
blood-element. Timur, the Turk, was a confirmed 
drunkard and " the woman in Timur 's harem 
drank/' V) Abu Mirza had almost a wine-jar in his 
stomach and he could drink for 21 days at a 
stretch. Babar was notorious for his drinking 
bouts. Even Akbar in his early career, as 
Jahangir narrated, 10 " raised drinking ceremony 
almost to an art." The grandees of the court 
only vied with each other in getting near to their 
ideal, the Sultan and each was a miniature edition 
of his master. In Gibbon's phraseology, '* the 
wine of Shiraz had always prevailed over the laws 
of the Prophet." Attempts were made by some 
monarchs from time to time to regulate or prohibit 
wine but to no purpose. Balban inspite of his in- 
human efforts could not abolish it; Alauddin 
inspite of his barbarous ordinances failed lo check 
it So Akbar like a wise man without attempting 
the " Impossible Better " tried the " Possible 
Good." Instead of making the whole of India dry, 
he would allow wine on medical grounds, and 
made elaborate arrangements for restricting and 
controlling its sale and laid down severe punish- 
ments for excessive drinking, carousals and 

39 Davy's Institutes. One Christian Priest, San jan, was present at 
such a function. 

* Smith, Akbar, p. 114. 


disorderly conduct. 41 Thus his attempt was to bring 
drinking within limits ; of course his measures were 
not completely successful and Mughal India re- 
mained as " wet " as America is to-day inspite of 
her best attempts to make her " dry/' 

Prostitutes Segregated 

1582-83 A.D. 

Regulation of wine was followed by regulation 
of prostitutes. The prosperity and population of 
the capital was a great attraction to those " devil's 
agents." In order to keep the city atmosphere 
uncontaminated, he segregated them in one corner 
of the city and built for them what is known as 
Shaitanpura or the devil's quarters. Dancing girls 
might be taken home under certain conditions but 
no prostitutes. There was a register in which 
names of all prostitute-hunters were to be entered. 
Thus was effected a great check on the new 
entrants at least; for this legislation Akbar's 
fault was indeed that he was " cursed with 

Dogs and Boars Reared up 

1582-83 A.D. 

Badauni was almost wild with rage when he 
narrated the story of dogs and boars, the most 

41 Harun-al-Rashid used to lake wine on medical advice (Arabian 
Nights). Bu Ali Senai, the great Arabic scholar, in his famous 
" Qanun " (treatise on medicine), praised wine for medical reason* 


unclean things for a believer. 42 Animals were 
kept in the Zoo for hunting purposes ; there were 
other kinds of animals too. Badauni mentioned 
only the dogs and boars, for their presence meant 
defilement in Islam. There were camels, bears, 
chitas (leopards), elephants, dogs, boars, buffa- 
loes, mules and many varieties of birds, as 
Abul Fazl informed us. There could be no objec- 
tion to a king's maintaining a Zoo. Hunting was 
a passion in the Timurid family. Akbar had 
caressed dogs when a child at his father's place. 43 
Hunting dogs were always kept in the family. 

" Timur had his falcon, his dogs as his compa- 
nions " in his hunting excursions. Dog racing was a 
fashion in the 16th century India, 44 and as such there 
were dogs kept and maintained by the grandees 
of the age In Fiqh there is a discussion whether 
a game hunted by a dog could be taken or not and 
the decision was that it could be taken. In that case 
dog was not always unclean. In Arabia dogs 
were tamed for hunting and for protection of 

Regarding boars, Badauni told that the Hindus 

persuaded him that boar was one of the ten forms, 

which the dlv ; n : ty assumed in coming down." ll> 

So Badauni 's sly suggestio i was that by allowing 

<* Badauni, II, p 314-15. 

43 Akbarnama, 1, Beveridge, p. 589. 

Badauni, II, p 69. 

Badauni, II. p. 314. 


boars, love of Hindus was expressed. But so far 
as Akbar's belief in incarnation was concerned, the 
discussions of the Ibadat Khana were explicit that he 
did not believe in incarnation and laughed at the 
idea of " the All Perfect assuming the form of an 
animal (a fish or a boar)." 4G The speech of the 
Philosopher, therefore, contradicts what Badauni 
wanted his readers to believe. The rearing up of a 
dog or keeping boar in a royal zoological garden 
had no connection with his Din-i-Ilahi. 

Flesh of Wild Boar and of Tiger Allowed 
1582-83 A.D. 

Indeed this kind of meat was allowed not for 
the Muslims but for the Hindus. Hindus were 
permitted to take those kinds of meat. In the 
Ramayana, flesh of hunted wild boar was one of the 
dainties. Tiger meat was allowed in Central Asia. 47 
If Badauni had mentioned the occasion when 
the regulation was introduced and also the names 
of those for whom they were meant, the complica- 
tion would have been removed. During the 
Chitor expedition (1568-69), the army included 
heterogeneous elements and principally there were 
Rajputs and Turks; amongst the former, boar meat 
was sanctioned and among the latter tiger meat was 

46 Dabistan, II, p. 91. 

# Firdousi, Shahnama; Badauni, II, p. 317 (Original). 


sanctioned and not for Muslims in general. This 
permission was given long before his alleged 
apostasy ; so it had no connection with the Din-i- 
Ilahi. Badauni in order to give more force to his 
apostasy, placed the event in the year of the Din-i- 

Use of Silk <* n d Gold was Allowed 
1582-83 A.D. 

There are decisions against the use of silk and 
gold no doubt. But the Prophet himself once 
wore silk which came from the Roman Empire. 
It was a military necessity at the time of Khalifa 
Omar that soldiers were asked to give up silk 
owing to the very nature of the stuff it contain- 
ed, for at that time they were generally at war. 
The followers were denied the ordinary luxuries 
of body and in the time of Omar the people 
were debarred from using silk. But as soon as 
the Muslims had strongly entrenched themselves in 
their position, Khalifas like Mu'awiya, Rashid and 
others began to enjoy luxuries of body and used to 
wear silk. Sher Shah presented to Shaikh Byram 
a fine piece of Bengal silk/ 8 

The Sadr of Akbar's court used to wear silk and 
permitted the use of silk where it was produced 
in large quantities. Islamic people changed their 
dress almost in every country they domiciled them- 

4 * Pringle Kennedy, of>. cif., I, p. 209, 


selves in. Babar himself introduced the Kazal-bash 
(red cap), a Persian custom, amongst his troops. 49 
The use of a chapman down to the ankle is not 
an Arabian custom but was introduced from Persia 
and Turkey long after Muhammad's death. 
These are of course occasional commandments 
falling within " M'ashrati " group and lapse is 
no defection from Faith. 

Marriage Regulated 
1582-83 A. D. 

In Islam, of course marriage has no restriction 
in age except puberty. Any one that can produce 
a child is permitted to marry and any woman who 
can bear a child is a fit subject for that contract. 50 
But at the instance of Prince Salim, 51 Akbar pro- 
mulgated this regulation in 1 582 ; it is improbable 
for Salim to promulgate this regulation as he v/as 
at that time only 1 3 years of age, unmarried and 
was not mature enough to understand the far- 
reaching implications of marriage laws. This 
regulation was put in 1 582 like many others in 
order to prove '* lapse of Akbar. 1 ' However, the 
law was that no boy below 1 6 and no girl below 
1 4 should marry and that a cousin or a near relation 
should not be married because in that case the 

49 Erskine of>. cit., p. 244. 

80 Muhammadan Law by D. F. Mulla, 

6 Akbarnama. Vol III, p. 503, 


sexual appetite was small. 52 Really, what the social 
reformers have found and decided in the twentieth 
century, the great anticipator did four hundred 
years earlier and he is a criminal because he was 
' cursed with reason ' . 

Feast at Death Discouraged and that at 
Birth Encouraged 

1582-83 A.D. 

Badauni must criticise because he was out to 
do so even if Akbar had done something in accord- 
ance with the Law. 

Here is an instance to the point. The death 
feast for Muslims in India was an Indian custom 
and has no connection with Islam where it was un- 
lawful. 53 " There can be no sense," said Akbar, 
in offering food which is material to the spirit of 
the dead person, since he could not certainly 
experience any benefit fiom it; much better, there- 
fore, would it be, on the day of any one's birth 
to make that a high feast day." And Hadis 
enjoins that ' ' at birth-feast one goat to be sacri- 
ficed for daughter and two for a son." Anniversary 
feasts were always observed in Central Asian 
families. That is a custom indeed. Prophet's 
birth is always celebrated in " Milad-un Nabi." 

Badauni, II, p. 315. 

Herklot Qanun-i-Islam, p. 424. 


Many Muslims celebrate their own birth days 
in imitation of that of the Prophet. It has no 
connection with Mazhab. 

Prayers of Islam, Azan and Haj Stopped 

1582-83 A.D. 

" Pilgrimages were henceforth forbidden," so 
said Baduani. But were they ? Again Badauni 
said, " Friday prayers were not stopped." Baduani's 
statement is, therefore, self -contradictory. 61 Once 
more he said that the new Sadr Sayid Mir Fathulla 
of Shir az, who was appointed in 1 582, used to 
offer Shia prayers in public. Soon after Badauni 
mentioned of Shaikh Arif Hosain, the Mu'azzin 
(criers for prayers), calling for prayers at the house 
of Abul Fazl near the portico five times a day. 50 
Akbar himself offered prayers after the death of 
Abul Fazl long after the Din was promulgated. 
Akbar said prayers personally on his grave. 56 
Badauni would have been true had he said that 
prayers and Azan were stopped in the unauthorised 
mosques, built during and after rebellions in Bengal 
and Behar and instances can be found in the life 
of the Prophet when he ordered the demolition of 
unauthorised mosques as he did at Medina. 

M Badauni. II. p. 3 1 6. 

65 Darbar-i Akbari, Hosain Azad 

W Tabqat-i-Akbari, E 6 D, Vol. V, p. I8I. foot note I. 


So far as stopping of the pilgrimage was con- 
cerned, it is a distortion of facts. After the discovery 
of the embezzlement of the pilgrim grant by Mir-i- 
Haj, Akbar stopped grants to pilgrims for some 
time. We know it from Du Jarric that the Third 
Mission (1594) while proceeding to Lahore, saw 
a large number of people going to Mecca on pil- 
grimage from the port of Guzrat. Even the ladies 
of the royal familes were found sailing towards 
Mecca long after the Din was promulgated. His ins- 
titution of Jahaj-i-llahi will ever remain a monument 
of his achievements. Nizamuddin says, " Akbar 
appointed Mir-i-Haj, or leader of the pilgrimage 
to conduct a caravan from Hindustan like the 
caravans from Egypt and Syria to the Holy place. 
The design was carried out and every year a party 
of enlightened men of Hind received provision for 
their journey from the royal treasury and went 
under an appointed leader from the port of Guzrat 
to the Holy places." "' 

Arabic Reading Discouraged and Curricula 

1582-83 A.D. 

The regulation read thus " The common 
people should no longer learn Arabic because such 

57 Tabqat-i-Akbari, E & D, V, p. 391. 


people generally cause mischief." 58 It was prohi- 
bited for the common people, who half educated 
as they generally were, often half understood and 
more often misunderstood the intricacies of the 
Arabic language with its pun and play on dots. 
They should be easily led by the Mullas to believe 
or disbelieve anything to suit their convenience as 
has been the case during the Bengal rebellion. 
The Maulavis in charge of the Madrasas attached 
to Mosques were of the type of Abdu-n Nabi and 
Ab Julia Sultanpuri. The demonstration given by 
th e Mullas during the Ibaclat Khana discussions of 
their understanding of Arabic language with their 
differences of interpretation was not very en- 
couraging/ Akbar had seen the baneful effects of 
exclusive attention to theology. Being infused with 
a spirit of Renaissance, Akbar desired to substitute 
a curricula with introduction of philosophy, 
astronomy, medicine, mathematics, poetry, novels 
and other cultural subjects in the place of pure 
literary Arabic. 

In language, he gave more attention to Persian 
than to Arabic and Hindi and extended royal 
patronage to the development of pure Persian, 
Persian being the common language of the scholars 
of poetry, of art and of literature. The fulness 

53 The Far man of 495 A. H. ran thus, " Prohibit the basest people 
from learning science in the cities because often insurrection arose from 
these people.*' 

W Dabistan, II, p. 99. 


of Akbar's Empire was overflowing and Akbar's age 
was the Augustan age of Persian literature in India. 
According to Abul Fazl there were over 1 50 poets 
from Persia alone not to speak of Indian poets in 
Persian. It was no crime if Akbar had taken a 
fancy for purely Persian words and phraseology to 
the exclusion of Arabic alphabets. Badauni found 
fault with Akbar that he asked his poets to exclude 
purely Arabic letter (> - ^ - ^* - Ji> - k - ^ - ) w> 
and henceforth &\ &-& was written 41>1 <J^I . 
1 his play upon words and dots was a characteristic 
of the age. Faizi wrote a famous commentary 
on the Quran where no dot was used on the top 
and another where no dot was at the bottom. 

" Qurans " were Destroyed 

1582-83 A.D. 

Yes, they were. But which ones ? the un- 
authorised ones written and distributed by mischief 
makers during the rebellions in Bengal and Behar 
and not all Qurans. The description of the Pries ;s 
of the 1st and 2nd Missions pointed out that qurans 
were destroyed between 1578 and 1584. That is 
the period of the Bengal rebellion and just after. 

This synchronism with the per;od of rebellion 
is significant. It was a measure against 
rebellions. Even Khalifa Osman did destroy un- 
authorised quranc. A copy of the Quran which 

** Badauni, II, p. 316. 


was not a version of the real recitation of the 
Prophet from the Message brought by Gabriel was 
no Quran and its destruction was no crime. 

Names of Ahmad, Muhammad, Mustafa 
Not Allowed at Court. 

1582-83 AD. 

Was it compulsory ? No, Akbar's own name 
was Jalaluddin Muhammad. There were many 
courtiers of that name in his court. But this much 
is true that he discouraged the association of those 
sacred names with frail mortal beings. This is 
not certainly due to his hatred of the hallowed 
names of Islam. It was a Sufi mode not to associate 
frail human beings with that sacred name of the 
Prophet. Orthodox custom is that as soon as the 
name of the Prophet is uttered, it should be followed 
with usual " Sallallaho." In ordinary conversation, 
the name of a man like Muhammad is uttered, cer- 
tainly the customary epithet is not mentioned. There- 
fore, it was better that the sacred name was dropped. 
Even Badauni advocated a similar idea when he 
had to utter the name of Fatima in connection with 
an unchaste woman. " To call such miserable 
wretches by the name of our blessed Prophet's 
daughter would indeed be wrong," says Badauni. 
And still in the same breath, he would curse 
Akbar for doing so. 61 

11 Badauni, II. p. 324. 


The Assembly of Forty " was Inaugurated 
1583-83 A.D. 

It was an intellectual assembly of the wise men 
and had behind it a purely Islamic tradition, known 
as ' ' The Chihil Tanan ' ' or the * ' The forty Abdals. ' * 
After the death of Muhammad, the last of the long 
series of prophets, the Earth felt that she could no 
longer be honoured by prophets walking on her 
surface. God promised, so runs the story, that 
there should always be on earth "Forty holy 
men, Abdals, for whose sake He would let the 
Earth remain." 

It was clear from the discussions in the Ibadat 
Khana that no absolute reliance could be placed on 
the authorities, for they were so many and so varied. 
So this body of intellectuals was inaugurated who 
decided questions, as Badauni tells us, " according 
to reason and not by tradition/' In that age of 
Renaissance, a child of culture as Akbar was, it 
was in fitness of things that he should form the 
famous ** Forty." It was the fitting culmination 
of the Ibadat Khana. 

Alms Houses were Established with Separate 

1583-84 A.D. 

Badauni was so uncharitable that he could 
hardly brook the idea of even humanitarian regula- 



tions if that humanity concerned the non-Muslims. 
Akbar only carried on the work of Sher Shah 
when he established Poor Houses for the Hindus 
separately in imitiation of his great predecessor 
Sher Shah who had started separate establish- 
ments in Sarais. That showed the catholic spirit 
of the Emperor and the sympathetic sentiments 
of that great ruler of men. But Mulla Badauni 
would not appreciate it, for, to him humanity meant 
only Muslim humanity. 

Dice Play and Interest Taking 
1 583-84 A.D. 

If dice play was for play's sake, there was no 
harm. But if it was on stake basis, certainly 
Akbar infringed an important injunction of religion. 
But was it within the Mazhabi group ? 

Ilahi Era was Introduced 
1 584-85 A.D. 

Indeed it was ; it was a purely political and 
scientific era in consonance with the spirit of the 
age of Scholasticism and Renaissance. It had no 
connection with religion. It showed his breadth 
of vision and length of wisdom. Prof. Brendry 
has exposed the myth of apostasy behind the Ilahi 
Era in his book on the " Ilahi Era." 


Salim's Marriage and Hindu Manners 
1585-86 A.D. 

The festivities at the marriage of Salim were 
mostly Hindu. The customs and usages of mothers 
are generally followed during the marriage 
ceremonials. The elasticity of the Turko-Mongol 
temperament has allowed them to accept manners 
and customs of any country of higher culture wher- 
ever they had gone. In China the Turks accepted 
Chinese manners, in Russia Russian, in Arabia 
Arabian, and in India Indian. Sultana Rezia 
introduced the Royal umbrella as a monarchical 
paraphernalia ; Sekander Lodi introduced the 
system of weighing in gold like the ancient Hindu 
kings. It was a purely social matter where no 
religious implication should come in. 

The dead to be Buried with head 
towards the East 

1 585-86 A.D. 

Akbar indeed looked upon the Sun as the 
life-giving force of the world and there is no doubt 
that he gained some miraculous powers by Yogic 
practices. Preference of one direction to another 
was due to the influence of these occult practices. 
Akbar himself slept with his head towards the 



This has been interpreted by the orthodox as a 
mark of slight, for Akbar allowed the dead to stay 
in grave with their feet towards the west in which 
direction lay Mecca. What Akbar did had no 
reference to Mecca but to the east. Incidentally 
and unconsciously his action had a reference to 
Mecca, it being towards the west of India. 

Brahmins Allowed to Decide Litigations amongst 


1585-86 A.D. 

This is just the official recognition of Sher 
Shah's procedure. It was no new thing in India 
to requisition the services of the Brahmins in 
judicial trials involving Hindus. Even extremely 
orthodox Muslim Sultans in different parts of 
India had done it. The angle of vision shown by 
Abdulla Sultanpuri during the trial of the Mathura 
Brahmin 62 only convinced Akbar of the necessity 
of such a step. Badauni felt this appointment of 
Hindu Pandits bitterly especially because they came 
after the dismissal of the Muslim Qazis. 

" Allah-o-Akbar " Introduced in the Mode of 
Greetings instead of " A s-Salam-o-A lai^um 

1 585-86 A.D. 

Yes, Akbar did it. Was it not a social custom 
of Akhlaqi group ? As has been noticed before, 

6 * Badauni, II. p. 128. 


changes had often been made in manners and 
customs of Islamic peoples in different parts of 
world where they settled or made conversions. 

It was introduced in 1 585-86 and the Din-i- 
Hahi in 1582-83. It had necessarily no immediate 
connection with the Din-i-Ilahi as it came four 
years after. The whole trouble came from the 
word " Akbar." Was it used as an adjective 
meaning " the great "' or did it refer to '* Akbar 
personally." But it was no crime for the son of 
Humayun to have the name "Akbar" for which he 
was not responsible. Even if it was a violation, 
the law fell into the Ma'sharti (social) group and 
not Mazhabi (religious) group. 

1586-90 A.D. 

These were the years of war in Sind in which 
Akbar was personally busy and no new regulations 
have been ascribed to these years. 

" Sati " Discouraged 

1590-91 A.D. 

The burning of widows on the funeral pyre of 
their husbands was discouraged. If Akbar was a 
believer in Hinduism, he should not have stopped 
a sacred custom of the Hindus. But he did it 
only to prevent a cruel custom whether Hindu 
or Muslim. And it had no reference to his religious 
belief at all. 


Circumcision was to fee Done not Before 12th 
Year and that too Optional 

1590-91 A.D. 

It was a Jewish custom adopted by Islam. 
Akbar 's regulation was that it should be made 
optional and should be done, if at all, at an age 
when boys could understand what it was. 
Here Akbar gave every man a choice and oppor- 
tunity to have a play of his reason. Indeed the 
child of Reason as he was, he could not deny it 
to others. According to the orthodox section, it was 
against Islam. But Akbar had been cursed for 
having his own reason. 

The circumcision is only a social custom 
adopted to suit the hygienic condition of the Semitic 
people. This law of circumcision was not adopted 
by all Aryan Christians even when they were 
converted to Islam. 

1591-92 A.D. 

Badauni said that many new regulations were 
introduced this year but did not mention what they 

This was the time when Badauni was under 
orders of suspension for overstanding leave and 
producing a false medical certificate from Hakim 
Ain-ul-Muluk of Delhi. If there was any very 
objectionable regulation, certainly he would have 
mentioned them. 


"Cremation of a Darshaniya 
1592-93 A,D. 

Dr. Smith, quoting from Badauni, says that a 
fantastic regulation was made for the ' disciples 
(Ilahian) chelas. 

" If any of the Darshaniya disciples died, 
whether man or woman, they should have some 
uncooked grains and a burnt brick round the neck 
of the corpse and thrown into river, and then they 
should take out the corpse and burn it at a place 
where no water was." 68 

The regulation quoted above has no meaning. 
Badauni left his sentence half finished ; when he 
could not make out what he meant, he left the 
entire regulation untold with the remark, " I cannot 
mention here " ; ignorance or wilful omission? 

This ceremonial seems to be peculiar. To give 
effect to this regulation, two things are necessary : 

( 1 ) The body must not be entombed ; 

(2) There must be a river. 

Now we know definitely what Akbar himself 
said about the last rites of Birbar. The body was 
also cremated in certain cases. Therefore, at 
least in those cases where the body was cremated, 
the regulation became necessarily ineffective. 

w Smith, P . 219. 


And a river was not always to be found where a 
Darshaniya might die. In such cases the regulation 
became ineffective. 

If this regulation was actually put into practice, 
of course if there was any such one, Badauni 
should have mentioned the whole of it. So our 
conclusion is that the quotation was either distorted 
or Badauni did not understand it all. 

Registration of Marriages 
1592-93 A.D. 

This was a corollary to a previous regulation 
regarding marriage. " One man, one wife " 
being the law, a record and registration was 
inevitable if it was meant to be effective. And 
Akbar meant business and not pious wishes alone. 
It was a pure administration of affairs. 

Toleration Granted to All Religions 

1593-94 A.D. 

The root of troubles lay in his policy of 
universal toleration. The Mulla section of Islam 
claimed thai Islam was the only repository of truths 
and hence there was no scope of compromise with 
other faiths. Does not the Quran bristle with 
examples of the highest form of toleration rl ; dees not 

W Quran, II, 259. "Cultural Fellowship" by A. Chakravarti, 
published by Thacker Spink, Calcutta, pp. 34-39, 


the example of Muhammad typify the spirit of 
compromise after the battle of Badr? When he 
granted the Jews and Christians right to stay and 
worship in the Darul-islam did not the Quran 
assure, " There is no compulsion in Religion " ? 

If the latter converts, in order to suit their 
convenience changed or distorted his teachings, 
Islam was not responsible. Akbar in preaching 
universal toleration was only following the path 
of the Prophet in its true spirit and perspective. 
The forces of time, the spirit of Renaissance, the 
Sufi tendencies of the age, the teachings of Shah 
Abdul Latif , constant association with the saints 
of different creeds of the age and his innate nature 
were all responsible for that open preaching of the 
principle of universal toleration in the land of 
Hindustan erst while torn asunder by the bitter 
attacks of orthodoxy. 

Freedom of Building Churches 

1593-94 A.D. 

To the Christian priests, Akbar granted the 
right of building churches. Was it actuated by his 
belief in Christianity or by his spite against Islam? 
Or was it a part of the Din-i-Ilahi? None of these 

He did not believe in the doctrine of Christian- 
ity in its entirety. This is proved by his questions 



to the clergymen in the Ibadat Khana. Christian 
Fathers could not satisfy him so far as the Trinity, 
the Sonship of God and Virginity of Mary were 
concerned. Earnest and long attempt of saints 
like Rudolf to convert Akbar all but proved 

There was no question of spite against Islam 
when Islam was pitted against Christianity. 
Instances are not rare when the clergymen com- 
plained " of Akbar 's bias against Christianity. " 
More than once Akbar had to warn the Christian 
priests of the danger of using unguarded language 
against the Mullas or their faith. Further Badauni 
and Smith said, " after the Lahore fire, Akbar 
had turned back to Islam." If so, how could he 
have been actuated in 1592-93 after he had 
returned to Islam, by spite against Islam to grant 
to the Christians the right of building churches ? 
Therefore, neither was there any lapse from Islam, 
nor was there any coming in, nor any spite against 
Islam. So far as permission to build churches was 
concerned, may we ask if it was a part of the Din- 
i-Ilahi to build churches for Christians? certainly not, 
as has been pointed out previously in Chapter IV. 
Was not Azam Khan an Hahian ? Did he not 
strongly oppose this rpeasure permitting the Chris- 
tians to build their churches ? 

From the above discussion of the regulations of 
Emperor Akbar, it is clear that most of his "Ains" 
had Islamic background. Some of them ha'd 


precedents in the actions of Khalifas or Sultans that 
preceded him. Others were allowed by the Shariat ; 
" for reasons of State " many more were necessi- 
tated by the social or economic conditions of the 
Empire and such changes were permissible in the 
Muslim dominions inhabited by non-Muslims. 65 It 
is therefore, not proper to brand Akbar as an 
apostate because he promulgated those " Ains." 
Of course, Badauni did brand Akbar as an 
apostate and there was personal bias for his doing 
so as has been metioned in the appendix following. 

Tritton, Non~Mulim Subjects in Muslim Empire, Introduction. 



Abdul Qadir, Faizi and Abul Fazl were the 
pupils of the famous Shaikh Mubarak in 1 558, and 
all three were brilliant scholars. Faizi specialised 
in medicine and poetry, Abul Fazl in theology 
and history, and Badauni in grammar and logic. 
In 1573, Abdul Qadir was introduced to court and 
he accepted a Madad-i-Ma'ash. 

In course of a debate against Ibrahim of 
Sarhind, he first attracted the attention of the 
Emperor who was much ' pleased to see the range 
of his theological learning/ And he was selected 
often to debate in the Ibadat Khana ' to break the 
pride of the learning of the Mullas.' Abdul 
Qadir took much interest and displayed consider- 
able knowledge in the naughty and subtle problems 
of theology. But after the introduction of Abul 
Fazl into the court "the high opinion, which 
Akbar had formed of Abdul Qadir 's learning 
and disputational powers, was transferred to Abul 
Fazl whose boldness of thought and breadth of 
opinion dazzled the court and excited the jealousy 
and envy of the Ulama. 1 " 

1 J. R. A. S., 1869, Bloehinaim'e life of 


In the beginning, Akbar thought that Badauni 
was a Sufi but in the end he regretted to find that 
Badauni was only a * sun-dried Mulla/ 2 A bit 
of Badauni s mind could be read in his reply to 
Akbar 's question enquiring as to why he v/anted 
to join the expedition against Rana Kika. Badauni 
proudly declared that his * intention in joming 
the war was to kill the infidels/ 8 The first literary 
production of Badauni was Kitab-ul Ahadis deal- 
ing, among oilier things, ' with the excellence of 
expedition against the infidels/ 4 Badauni was 
entrusted with translation of the Mahabhaiat along 
with some other scholars and for this he cursed 
his lot that he had to write the names of gods 
of the infidels 5 Badauni's mother died in 1 589 ; 
he took leave and went home with a MS. 
copy of the Khirad Afza, a very favourite book of 
Akbar. He overstayed leave by one year and 
moreover lo~i u A e copy of Khirad Afza and dared 
not appear before the Sovereign. 

At last on the recommendation of F'aizi, 
Badauni was allowed to appeai before His Majesty 
at Lahore and was restored to favour (1 591-92). 

In 1593, Abul Fazl helped Badauni to attract 
favour of A kbar on the day of Nau Ruz and was 
recommended for the post of a Mutwali * of the 

A in, Blochmann, p. 104, N. 2. 

Badauni, II, pp. 233-234. 

Ibid., p. 234. 

Ibid., p. 329, Blochmann, p. 104 N. 

M utwali means keeper of a ehrine or holy place. 


tomb of Ma'in-ud-din at Ajmer. But Akbar liked 
him to stay at court for his literary gifts and 
entrusted him with the task of translation of Bahr- 
ul Asmar. In 1 593-94, Badauni completed the 
third part of the T'arikh-i-Alfi. In 1595, Faizi died 
and Badauni was much relieved to hear that his 
rival at court, in religion, nay in life, had left the 
world. Mulla Badauni expressed his devilish 
venom 7 ; for, if he could not beat Faizi in life, he 
must do so at his death. Akbar liked Badauni in 
spite of his lurid taste and bitter orthodoxy for his 
literary merits. Till the end of his life (1595?) 
Badauni continued in the court of Akbar. 

Badauni' s Angle of Vision 

From a brief sketch of the life of BaHauni at 
the court of Akbar, we have seen him as a holder 
of Madad-i-Ma'ash of 1 ,000 bighas of land, as 
Imam of Wednesday prayer, as a soldier against 
Rana Kika, as translator of books, whereas his 
rival in school had risen to be the poet laureate of 
the Empire, his junior comrade was the highest 
dignitary of the state ; naturally he lost the balance 
of his mind. On more than one occasion, he 
'deplored his lot and envied that of Abul Fazl and 
Faizi. 8 

' Badauni, II. p. 420; III, pp. 414-5. " A dog has gone f rom tit* 
world in an abominable state. He was a miserable hellish dog. " 
* Badauni, II, p. 271. 


In his childhood Badauni had been trained on 

the lines of an orthodox Mulla. His maternal 

grand-father Muluk Shah taught him grammar, 

recitation of the Quran and Islamic law. Once 

Badauni set out to pay a visit to Shaikh Muhammad 

Ghaus, a highly revered Mulla of the age. As 

soon as Badauni saw that the pious Shaikh * rose 

up to do honour to Hindus * he felt obliged to 

forego the pleasure. Badauni ' styled Sufism as 

nonsense ' 9 in connection with Sharif Ami. 

Badauni could not tolerate anything that was non- 

Sunni ; when a Shia was wrongly murdered by a 

Sunni, Badauni had not a word of sympathy for 

the dead Shia whom he immediately consigned to 

hell for no other reason but that he was a Shia. 

There are innumerable instances when Badauni 

concocted facts or distorted them to suit his 

conclusion or spoke only half truth. As for 

example, Badauni interdicts Akbar for having 

given permission for the use of boar meat against 

laws of the Shariat. But he never mentioned 

whether the permission was given to Muslims or 

to anybody else and what was the occasion for it. 

The permission was indeed given to the Rajput 

soldiers amongst whom boar meat was permissible 

and the occasion was the Chitor expedition where 

both Hindu and Muslim soldiers fought in 

the same ranks. Moreover, the permission was 

J.R.A S. 1869, Blochmann' life of Badauni. 


given not only for ' boar meat * but also for tiger's 
meat which was permissible among Turks. As 
regards the regulation forbidding cow's flesh, 
Badauni said that Akbar had stopped killing of 
cows in order to show his love for Hindu wives, 
and that he was actuated by an anti-Islamic feeling. 
But the entire regulation taken as a whole reads 
otherwise, " Nor flesh of cows, buffaloes, sheep 
and camels be taken, for they are domestic ani- 
mals." But honest Badauni only mentioned cows, 
for the mention of the buffaloes, sheep and camels 
would defeat his purpose. A glorious example 
of half quotation was regarding the reconversion 
of a Hindu woman who had fallen in love with 
a Muslim. * She (Hindu woman) should be 
taken by force and be given to the family/ 10 
But Badauni did not menlion ths other part of 
the regulation which dealt with Muharnmadan lady 
" nor should a Muslim woman who had been in 
love with a Hindu be prevented from joining 
Islam. " n According to Badauni Akbar had 
ordered the destruction of mosques. But Badauni 
did not mention the date of the regulation and the 
occasion for it. The whole regulation would have 
been clear, had he mentioned thai the regulation 
came after the Bengal rebellion when those mosques 
(unauthorised) were used as centres of rebellion 

10 Dabittan, II, p. 413. 
M /bid. 


such as the Masjid-i-Zarar in the time of the 

In his blind fanaticism and spiteful venom 
against Faizi and Abul Fazl, he had lost the 
balance of his judgment and we think the real 
intention of Badauni was not so much to revile the 
Emperor as to revile the wickedness of the sons 
of Mubarak. In reviling them, he had to revile the 
Emperor more than he possibly intended to, only 
to show the length of the apostasy to which the 
Emperor had been led by ' the designing brothers/ 
In his anger Badauni sometimes said that Akbar 
was a Christian, another time that he was a fire- 
worshipper and a third time that he was a ' respec- 
ter of cows/ that is, he was a Hindu. "Akbar 
believed," said Badauni, " in the truth of the 
Christian religion and being willing to spread the 
doctrine of Jesus, ordered prince Murad to take a 
few lessons in Christianity and charged Abul Fazl 
to translate the Gospel." Du Jarric says that 
Akbar took some lessons in Portuguese himself so 
that he could follow their discussions in original. 
Soon after Badauni said that Akbar was a sun- 
worshipper and uttered one thousand and eight 
names of the Sun every morning. 

We should not lose sight of the important 
fact that he began to write his Muntakhab in 1 590 
when he was labouring under the charge of 
absenting himself from the court without leave, 
when he was liable for the loss of a favourite book 

35 I280B 


of Akbar, named Khirad Afza, and when he was 
refused an interview at Bhambar after the discovery 
of his forgery of a certificate from Hakim Ain-ul- 
Mulk of Delhi. What better things could be 
expected of him at a time when his whole 
existence was at stake ? On the other hand one 
of his comrades of early years was enjoying the 
reputation of being the chief poet of the age, and 
another the chief uatyl of the Empire. Indeed he 
was suffering from the complex of jealousy against 
his school mates. Smarting under a sense of 
injustice that his merit had not been properly 
recognised and respected, Badauni's hand could 
not give anything better. 

Badauni dared not publish his Cream of History 
'* Muntakhabat " during his life time; when the 
book was published during the reign of Jahangir, 
he became so infuriated " at the baseness of the 
lies that he ordered the son of Badauni to be 
imprisoned and his property to be confiscated/' 
He further took an agreement from all the book- 
sellers of the capital that they should not sell the 
book. 12 Even Khafi Khan says, * 4 Badauni has 
said many things regarding the Emperor which are 
quite incredible and which it would be improper 
to repeat or commit to writing. Indeed if I should 
retain one-hundredth part of them it would be 
disrespectful to his memory/' 13 

12 Ain, Blochmann, Footnote 2, p. 104. 

" Khafi Khan, Muntakhab-ul Lubab, Vol. I, p 196. 


Badauni was a cynic by nature. He had no 
respect even for the nearest ties of human rela- 
tionship. " Relations are like scorpions in the 
harm they do, therefore, be not directed by father's 
or mother's brother. For verily sorrow is increased 
by father's brother, and as for the mother's 
brother he is destitute of all good qualities." 

If these be the ideas of a man about his cousin 
or uncle, can we expect anything better than what 
he wrote about Faizi or the Hindu official of 
the Emperor, we mean Birbal? Nowhere Birbal 
has been mentioned without his favourite adjective 
hellish dog," a wretch. " In his venom he 
cast most disgraceful aspersions on Birbal that 
he had incest with his own daughter. 14 This is the 
man who wrote the history of Akbar; indeed it 
is true that tongue may lie but pen cannot, and 
however one tries to do so he is unconsciously 
found between the lines of his pen. To be fair 
to Akbar, we could only quote Major Nassau 
Lees and join with him in saying " it would be 
grossest piece of injustice to the dead Emperor to 
present the public 15 with Abdul Qadir's review of 
his character and no other/' And V. A. Smith 
has done it. 

H Badauni, II, p. 312. 

15 J.R.A.S., Great Britain, 1868. 



Significance of the Promulgation 

The Sufi creed of the Din-i-IIahi was promul- 
gated in the beginning of the year 1 582. According 
to Bartoli there was a formal council before the pro- 
mulgation of the Din-i-Hahi, 1 and an " old Shaikh 
(Mubarak) was sent to proclaim in all quarters that 
in a short time the law to be professed throughout 
the Mughal Empire would be sent from the court 
and that they should make themselves ready to take 
it for the best and accept it with reverence whatever 

1 The authority of Bartoli regarding the formal council should not 
go unchallenged. It has not been touched by Nizamuddin or Abul 
Fazl, nor by any contemporary Christian or native authors. Badauni 
incidently referred to a council meeting for renovating the religion of 
the Empire. But what is that council ? Was it the occasion for the 
Mazhar ? Badauni who nevei spared Akbar for his religious opinions, 
should have given more details on the council and its proceedings ; on 
the other hand Bartoli who compiled a book in 1663 A.D., three quarters 
of a century after the alleged council meeting, gave the account referred 
to. Moreover according to Bartoli one of the Shaikhs, a most distin- 
guished old man, whom Smith identified as Shaikh Mubarak was sent 
to proclaim ' in all quarters the coming of the new creed.' Now Shaikh 
Mubarak was at that time a man of 82 years : was it possible to send 
him to all quarters at such an old age to proclaim the coming 
religion ? 


it might be. 2 We do not know anything more 
about the embassy of Mubarak ; moreover the tone 
and language do not fit in with the Happy Sayings 
of Akbar, ' Why should I claim to guide men 
before I myself am guided/ 3 

Principles of the Din-i-llahi 

Smith says that the principles of the system 
were not properly defined and there was a good 
deal of uncertainty as to its meaning till 1 587 . 
Really it was ' undefined,' as it was no new religion : 
it was the summing up of the old. In the absence 
of any written treatise on the subject there was 
much scope for imagination. Von Noer is of 
opinion that the system was like that of the Free- 
masons or Illuminati. So it was not necessary to 
declare it in public. Badauni also says that the 
Mujtahid of the new religion was the only re- 
pository of the fundamentals of the faith. 4 
Badauni 's narrative relates only to the exterior 
rituals of the creed and described the forma- 
lities observed by Akbar. Badauni gave his reader 
hardly any new information about the principles 

2 The language of the proposed embassy sounds exactly like the 
Biblical story of Jesus corning with new religion, ' Lo ! Comes Light.' 
The whole passage of Bartoli (pp. 175-77) has a Biblical touch round it, 
and is most un-Mughal in atmosphere. The language does not fit in 
with the Mughal colour. 

3 Akbarnama, Appendix, ' Happy Sayings.' 
* Badauni, II, p. 349 


of the creed. Like an ordinary Mulla he identi- 
fied the fundamentals with the collaterals, and 
formalities were mistaken for principles. Abul 
Fazl in Ain No. 77 on the subject of " His Majesty 
as the spiritual guide of the people," began in a 
Sufic strain but left the subject with a pious wish, 
should my occupations allow sufficient leisure 
and should another term of life be granted me, it 
is my intention to lay before the world a separate 
volume on the subject . ' ' 5 His * ' occupations 
gave him no leisure, nor " another term of life 
was granted ' ' to him and we have lost a separate 
volume on the subject. The Portuguese mission- 
aries who visited the court during this period had 
their peculiar mode of describing things, they 
generally mixed up gossip with fact which more 
often than not deprived truth of its essence if there 
was any.'' The only author who narrated the 
fundamentals of the Din-i-Ilahi was Mohsin Fani 
who has described a part of it in his famous 
"Dabistan-i-Mazahib. The Dabistan did not directly 
discuss the Din-i-Ilahi but has indirectly expressed 
inner principles of the system through the mouth 
of the Philosopher in course of a dialogue. The 
authority of Mohsin Fani was Mirza Shah 
Muhammad, son of Baigh Khan who knew it 
directly from Azam Khan a member of the Din-i- 

5 Ain, Blochmann, p 166. 

6 East India Association Journal, London, 1915, p. 29S. 


Ilahi. Mohsin Fani was a sympathetic observer 
unlike Badauni or Portuguese priests ; and there is 
a touch of romance in his way of speaking a thing. 
The Philosopher of the Dabistan who represented 
the Emperor at the end of a general debate where 
the champions of other faiths were present, pro- 
pounded the Din-i-Ilahi in ten virtues : 

(1) Liberality and beneficence. 

(2) Forgiveness of the evil doer and repul- 

sion of anger with mildness. 

(3) Abstinence from worldly desires. 

(4) Care of freedom from the bonds of the 

worldly existence and violence as well 
as accumulating precious stores for the 
future real and perpetual world. 

(5) Wisdom and devotion in the frequent 

meditation on the consequences of 

(6) Strength of dexterous prudence in the 

desire of marvellous actions. 

(7) Soft voice, gentle words, pleasing speech- 

es for every body. 

(8) Good treatment with brethren, so that 

their will may have the precedence to 
our own. 

(9) A perfect alienation from creatures and a 

perfect attachment to the Supreme 

( 1 0) Dedication of soul in the love of God and 
union with God the preserver of all. 


The whole philosophy of Akbar was : " The 
pure Shast and the pure sight never err." 8 Great 
stress was thus laid on purity of individual life and 
purity of outlook on affairs of life. Practices 
followed by Akbar and his * ' Happy Sayings 
as quoted by Abul Fazl, bear out the truth that lay 
behind Akbar 's philosophy. 

In discussing the Sufi system of Akbar, we can- 
not lose sight of its rituals and priests, ceremonies 
and practices, initiations and symbols of brotherhood 
of the Sufi creed, for they are the concomitant parts 
of the system. Indeed in every religion whether 
primary or subsidiary, formalities are given as much 
prominence as the ideal to be worshipped. The 
development of a religion has in its background 
the religious experience of the propounder. The 
difference amongst great religious systems is based 
not on any difference in the ultimate ideal, for the 
object of worship is almost everywhere the same, 
but what they differ in, is in the form of worship. 
The war is on the path but not on the destination. 
Really speaking the formalities and rituals are no 
ends in themselves, but are only means to some 
end. But unfortunately the history of religion has 
shown that the forms apparently are regarded as 
ends, and ends lose themselves in the labyrinths 
of forms ; and more new creeds have developed not 
by way of difference of fundamentals but by the 

8 Ain, No. 77, Blochmann, p. 166. 


way of difference of formalities, rituals and 


In the Din-i-Ilahi, there was no priesthood and 
that is why Blochmann '* opines, " Akbar solely 
relying on his influence and example, had estab- 
lished no priesthood and had appointed no proper 
persons to propagate his faith." Von Noer says, 
" there was no priesthood in the Din-i-Ilahi it being 
confined to the select few." But to us it appears 
that the Din was never regarded by Akbar as a new 
religion and therefore, there was no need of a separate 
priesthood and separate church so natural and so 
common to the promulgation of a new faith. More- 
over in Islam there is no priesthood and it has been 
condemned in unequivocal terms by the orthodox. 
From Islamic point of view, Akbar is justified in 
not having any priesthood in the system. Tajuddin 
was the expounder of the exterior rites of the 
creed. 10 The Mujtahids were Abul Fazl 
and his brother Faizi. 11 Azam Khan is said to 
have learnt the rules of the new order from 
Abul Fazl who according to Badauni, was the 
repository of the rules of discipleship. In 
fact separate priests were not necessary nor a 

A in, BIocKmann, p, 212. 
Dabistan, I., p. 94. 
Badauni, II., p. 349. 


mosque, for it was a Sufi order of Islam within 
Islam depending on individual experience of the 
follower and was only open to men who had 
attained a certain stage of development based on 
capacity. Akbar before allowing anyone to enter into 
the order made a ' ' clearing search ' ' and ' ' every 
strictness and reluctance was shown by His Majesty 
in admitting novices." 12 Of course it could not be 
a fact that all those who entered into the order were 
without exception, actuated by a deep religious 
conviction; in some royal favour was the prime 
object, " though His Majesty did everything to get 
this out of their heads/' Nor did Akbar himself 
play the part of a Pope, as Smith would have his 
readers believe, for Akbar himself used to say 
" Why should I claim to guide men before I myself 
am guided." 13 Like his great Indian predecessor 
Asok, 1800 years back, he issued a general order 
to all state officials to look after the spiritual deve 
lopment of all subjects. 

" The Governor ought not to oppose the creed 
and religion of the creatures of God ; in as much as 
a wise man chooses not his loss in the affair of this 
perishable world, how should he knowingly tend to 
perdition in the religious world which is permanent 
and eternal ? If God be with his faith, then thou 
thyself carriest our controversy and opposition 
against God ; and if God fails him and he know- 

M Ain, Blochrnann, Ain/No. 77, p. 165, 

u Ibid, p. 1*3, 


ingly takes the wrong way, then he proves to 
himself a rule of erroneous profession, which 
demand pity and assistance, not enmity or contra- 
diction ; he, who acts, and thinks well, bears friend- 
ship to every sect/' 14 In the same Farman his 
officers were * ' required to show veneration for 
those who were distinguished by devotion to 
incomparable God, and pray in the morning and 
evening and at mindight. ' ' 

Toleration was the basis of these instructions. 
Du Jarric informed us that Akbar often used to say, 
God ought to be worshipped with every kind of 
veneration." Unconsciously his doctrine of non- 
inter ventiofi in religion was the best missionary for 
the propagation of the Din as Akbar conceived it. 
Again he says, "If the people wished it, they 
might adopt his creed and His Majesty declared 
that religion ought to be established by choice and 
not by violence." 15 Indeed, the Quran says that 
if God wished the whole world might have been 
Islamised but when God has not willed it, what 
right has man to compel people to come to Islam 
by force ; Badauni says that some people asked 
Akbar why he did not make use of the sword 
the most convincing proof such as Shah Ismail 
at Persia had done. Akbar replied, "Confidence 

U Dabistan, I, p. 97 and p. 429. 

'* Payne, op. cit. p. 25, footnote; Dabistan, I, p. 97. 
" There ! no compulsion in religion." Quran. 


in him as a leader was a matter of time and good 
counsel, and he did not require the sword.." To 
Salim, Akbar said, " Are not five-sixths of all 
mankind either unbelievers or Hindus? If I were 
actuated by motives similar to those which thou 
ownest, what would remain to me but to destroy 
them all ? " (Shea and Troyer, p. cxlvii.) 


The fitness of the intending entrants was tested 
by his readiness to sacrifice Property, Life, Religion 
and Honour. It was not that each of the Ilahians 
would be in a position to sacrifice all those four 
treasures of lire all at one time ; some might 
sacrifice one and some two and so on. The stage 
of the entrant was styled in a nomenclature 
peculiar to the order and was called " Degree." 
They were stated to have obtained ' ' One Degree 
" Two Degrees " according as they were in a 
position to offer one or more of those precious 
possessions. lh These four degrees were defined 
as " oath of fealty " in 1579 when the Din-i-Ilahi 
was not even thought of, as marks of loyalty to 
the throne. When the Din was promulgated they 
were included in the preliminaries. In Islam, 
politics and religion were often combined. So 

16 In Sufi orders also are four stages according to the position, 
which the Murid attains in his devotional life. See ante, pp. 23-24. 

In the Tradition (Hadis), Muhammad mentioned of different stages 
n spiritual order of a man 's life. 


what was defined as marks of loyalty in politics, 
became stages in spiritual eminence in religion. 
Badauni says, " courtiers of all shades and creeds 
irrespective of their religious opinions put their 
names down as faithful disciples of the throne/' 

Before introduction into the order the entrant 
was examined and if found fit, would be admitted 
for initiation. 17 The new entrant was introduced 
on Sundays. 1 * The intending was to approach 
the Emperor with his turban on the ground and on 
approaching the Emperor should bow his forehead 
down to His Majesty's feet. Abul Fazl says, 
"this is symbolical ; ihe tuiban is the sombol of 
conceit and selfishness, so putting off of the Turban 
symbolised the putting off of pride and conceit." 19 
The Emperoi as usual with Sufi mode of initiation, 
accepted him as his disciple and raised him from 
the ground and put the turban on his head. The 
initiation was by batch of twelve and by turns. 
They were to offer Zaminbos io the Emperor. 

Symbol of Brotherhood and the Chelas 

The " Initiated " was called " Chelas," an 
Indian teim meaning " disciples." Jl They formed 
a brotherhood amongst themselves, and had a 

M Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, I, p. 60. 

18 Akbar was born on Sunday and died on Sunday . 

ll) Am Blochmann, p. 165. About the inscription there are 
various opinions. 

20 Disciple is a common Sufi tenn. The llahias whom Akbar 
defeated near Afghanistan in 1564 also called themselves " Chclas." 


common symbol called * ' shast ' ' in which the 
4 'Great Name' ' was engraved and the symbolic 
motto of " Allaho Akbar was inscribed. The 
teaching inculcated ' ' was the pure Shast ' ' and 
'* the pure sight shall never err." 


The word " Shast " literally means " anything 
round " either " a ring or a bow.' 1 The shape of 
the symbol was like that of ring which may fairly 
be called * Swastika.'* 1 It was wrapped in clothes 
studded with jewels and was worn on the top of the 
turban. It was their symbol of Brotherhood. 

On the * Shast,' Badauni says that picture of 
Akbar was engraved. But others say that it 
contained only " Hu," the Great Name which 
might signify 

(a) Allah. 

(b) As Samad ... The Eternal. 

(c) A I Haiy ... The Living. 

(d) Alqayyum ... The Everlasting. 

(e) Ar Rahman 

Ar Rahim . . . The Merciful. 

(/) Al Mumin ... The Protector. 

Qazi Hamadani says that ' ' the great name ' ' is 
the word " Hu or " He " God because it has 

91 Lowe fctanslatad Shast as ' fih hook. ' Shast is also used to 
signify a girdle worn by Fire-worshippers or Hindus. 


a reference to God's nature as it shows that He 
has no other at His side. Again the wor'd " Hu " 
is not derivative. All epithets of God are 
contained in it. 22 Possibly Hamadani's interpreta- 
tion is true particularly because ' c Hu " is a Sufi 
term and in his early youth Akbar used to chant 
these Sufi terms " Ya Hu " and " Ya Hadi " 
near the Anuptalao. And it is quite probable that 
this familiar word should be repeated in his new 
Sufi order. 

Rules of Conduct amongst the Disciples 

To the Emperor, the Chelas were to offer 
Zaminbos and prostrate before him. The King 
used to give them ' Darshan ' from his window 
called ' Darshariiya Manzil ' (House of Royal 
Appearance). 23 If a member met another he was 
to greet him with " Allaho Akbar " and the other 
was to respond with " Jalle Jalalahu." 

Ain, Blochmann, p. 162, F. N. 2. 

Ordinarily a believer introduced himself by the tree of dis- 
cipleship, e.g., Ahmad, disciple of Alam, disciple of Byezid, disciple 
of Khabdin ending in the name of that disciple to whom he is sworn. 
But an llahian would introduce himself by his symbol " Shast." 

83 Smith says, " Sychophants and flatterers had come for alms and 
favours in the morning and assembled in front to have a Darshan ; some 
came with a sick baby, others with barren daughter. " many were 
cured by his miraculous powers. " This may be true. Akbar, by his 
constant association with the Hindu Yogis, had developed some occult 
powers and used them for the good of hit subjects. Abul Fazl gave 
some instances of such cures. 



That there were prayers in the system is evident 
from his own examples. Probably Akbar offered 
prayers three times and not five times in the ortho- 
dox manner. Akbar offered prayers after the 
death of Abul Fazl as is the custom with 
Muslims. Advice to provincial governors definitely 
ordinanced prayer three times a day morning, 
evening and night. y4 Abul Fazl had his own 
mosque on his portico ; criers (Mu'-azin) for 
prayers were there. No separate mosque was 
raised for the Ilahians. There was the same 
Quran for all ; till the last day of his life Abul 
Fazl deemed it a part of merit to copy the Quran. 

The usual customary form of*' As-Sallam o-alai~ 
t^um " and " Alai-T^um-ns-Salarn " were changed. 
Abul Fazl explained that Akbar in laying down this 
mode of salutation intended to remind men to think 
of the origin of their existence and to keep the 
deity in fresh, lively and grateful remembrance." 25 

Practices of an llahian were 

(a) Not to feast after death, 

(b) to feast of life during life, 

(c) to avoid flesh as far as possible, 

(d) not to take anything slain by one's ownself, 

(e) not to eat with butchers, fishers and bird 

24 Dabistan, Vol. I, p. 97. 

Ain, Blochmann, pp. 158-59, 


(/) not to cohabit with pregnant, old and 
barren women nor with women under the age of 
puberty. 20 

A disciple could be burnt or buried according to 
his own religious practices. Akbar lamented that 
the dead body of Birbal " had not been brought to 
his capital so that it could be burnt." 27 

26 Dabistan, Vol. Ill, p. 91. 

# Ain, Blochmann, pp. 204-205 

37 I280B 


The measures adopted by Akbar for the propa- 
gation of the Din-i-Ilahi were much in advance of 
time, at least by 200 years. In Europe, the fire of 
the Inquistition had set ablaze its religious firma- 
ment ; the prelude to the drama of contest between 
the Roman Catholics and the Protestants that was to 
come within the next half a century, was being 
arranged. The Jesuits in order to increase their 
brotherhood had fallen from the proud principles 
with which they had begun, and often had 
recourse to conspiracy and murder in the name of 
Jesus. In Islam, the bloody traditions of the blood- 
thirsty Ismailis were not yet forgotten ; the Shia-Sunni 
contest between the Safavi neighbours and their 
Sunni rivals of Rum were but too well known to the 
circle of Indian brethren. 

The systematic persecution of the Mehdists 1 
continued throughout the 1 5th and 1 6th centuries of 
the Christian era. In the midst of those terrible 
traditions and unholy environments, it required no 
small Amount of courage of conviction and length 
of liberalism, to say that " religion ought to be 
established by choice and not by violence/ and that 

1 Ain, Blochmann, p. 169. 


what right has man to compel people to come to 
Islam by force." With vast resources at his 
command if he simply wished it, he could have 
turned at least half of India to Ilahism. Indeed he 
cried out in the agony of his soul, " Why should I 
claim to guide men, before myself am guided ? 
and not ' ' Cuius Regio, Bias Religio " ' ' Religion 
of the King is the religion of the subject." like his 
European contemporary? 

The famous " Forty " 2 which he reorganised in 
1 582 after being disgusted with Mulla unchange- 
ability and rigidity, had its own contribution to make. 
No historian, not even Smith has drawn any infer- 
ence from the famous " Forty" and the Din, both 
coming at the same time. They were very closely 
related to each other. The debates in the Ibadat 
Khana were no longer as frequently held as they were 
at the beginning. The discussions and decisions 
on knotty points of law were now being done there 
by ' ' The Forty ' ' ; there was no need of a propa- 
ganda henceforth everything was to be decided 
by reason and not by authority." Like the " Free 
masons ' ' it was a grouping of the few enlightened 
minds bound together by common political allegiance, 
by the idea of ultimate good to humanity, breathing 
the spirit of the great man who occupied the centre, 
we mean Akbar, who was the embodiment of the 
forces of the liberalism of that age of Renaissance in 

1 Air, Blochmann, p. 197. F.N.I. 


India. That is why there is no roll register nor any 
definite statement as to the size and extent of the 
brotherhood. Abul Fazl said that the Emperor did 
not insist on conversion into his order even for 
"those who used to acknowledge to have received 
their spiritual power from the throne of his 
Majesty." They stood in need of no conversion 
though they were intimately connected with the 
circle of Akbar. The members of the Din-i-Ilahi 
may be divided into two groups : 

(a) those who accepted the creed in all its 
aspects, internal as well as external forms. 

(b) those who accepted the "Sfiasf" only. 

Of the initiated disciples 3 have been men- 

(1) Shaikh Mubarak. 

(2) Shaikh Faizi. 

(3) Jafar Beg. 

(4) Qasim Kahi. 

(5) Abul Fazl. 

(6) Azam Khan. 

(7) Abdus Samad. 

(8) Mulla Shah Muhammad Shahadad. 

(9) Sufi Ahmad. 

(10) Mir Sharif Amal. 

(11) Sultan Khwaja. 

3 A list has been prepared from stray references from different 
contemporary authors by Blochmann. But he did not mention Prince 


(12) Mirza Jani Thatta. 

(13) Taki Shustar. 

(14) Shaikhzada Gosla Benarasi. 

(15) Sadar Jahan. 

(16) Sadar Jahan 's son, no. I. 

(17) Sadar Jahan's son, no. II. 

(18) Birbal. 

(19) Prince Salim. 

It is very significant that only one of them, 
Birbal also called Birbar, was a Hindu. Badauni 
says that Akbar was not willing to include the 
Hindus as far as possible. 4 

Of the second class, 'there were many', says 
Abul Fazl. They were given "Shast" in batches 
of twelve on Sundays and had to pass the usual 
test before they were introduced to royal presence. 
No other centre for intiation has been mentioned 
for the Ilahians. This proves that it was not a 
proselytising creed but was only a Sufi order. As has 
been pointed out there was no separate mosque for 
them, and prayers were offered at least thrice 

The Contribution of the Ibadat Khana to the 
Din-i~Ilahi. The principles of the Din, according to 

4 This statement of Badauni and the actual absence of Hindus in the 
circle of the Ilahians definitely refutes the suggestion that there was a 
political move of 'Imperial unification' behind the promulgation of the 
Din-i-Ilahi. If it were so, there would have been deliberate attempt to 
get the Hindus into the fold. 


many, ware thrashed out of the fire of the discus- 
sions of the Ibadat Khana. This is indeed true, so 
far as the destructive side of the Din-i-Ilahi was 
concerned. In its destructive phase, the Din has a 
causal connection with the Mulla orthodoxy, their 
immobility and pride. The abuse and misuse of 
their power and position as discovered during the 
distribution of the ' Ay mas," the embezzlement of 
the pilgrim grant by Mir-i-Haj proved that all 
that glittered was not gold ; and their participation 
in the rebellion of Bengal and Behar shew the 
length to which religious intolerance could be 
brought in political affairs. The religious dis- 
putes of the Shias and Sunnis in the Ibadat Khana 
had led him to doubt the infallibility of both and 
convinced him of the necessity of a new outlook. 

The Sufi brothers and their father Mubarak, 
Faizi Sarhindi, Abul Fath, Tajuddin by the 
light of their intellect had served as torch-bearers in 
the midst of the darkness of doubts. Constant asso- 
ciations with the saints of other creeds had proved 
to him that God might be perceived even by the 
saints of other religions. Time, spirit and Central 
Asian mysticism had given a romantic touch to all 
his actions ; legacy of his heritage and his early 
political vicissitudes had made his mind more im- 
pressionable and more accommodating. Even if 
there were no discussions in the Ibadat Khana, 
changes would have come in some form or other. 
His birth in a Hindu house, his early association with 


the polished Persians, his own impressionable mind, 
his Central Asian mystic heritage, the liberal spirit 
of the age, the forces of Renaissance, the Mehdi 
movement of the 1 Oth Hijri and the influence of the 
contemporary Sufis and Saints had moulded his 
mind. That in India such a profound change 
of outlook would come was almost a certainty. 
Peculiar circumstances and favourable combination 
of forces had veered round that mystic child of 
Central Asia, born in the mystic land of Sind and 
nursed in a mystic association of Iran, and the child 
became the priest of the Change. 

So far as the actual form of the Change was con- 
cerned much depended on the influence of Sufi 
brothers, the Mehdi movement and personality of 
Akbar. The general liberal tendency of time 
coupled with intellectual ferment could have pro- 
duced no other form except a very eclectic, elastic 
and universa one. " His soul synchronised with the 
pantheistic ecstasy of the Vedas, the universal charity 
of Buddhism, the grandiose poetry of the Solar cult 
and the profound beauty of Islamic mysticism/' 
Nine out of ten commandments, if not all ten, were 
extremely universal and could be found in almost 
every religion. Without going into their places 
in other religions, we may quote the follow- 
ing from the Quran and other eminent Sufi 
writers, both in and outside India, to show that 
they were absolutely Islamic in conception and 


(1) Original Text from Dabistan : 

Translation : Liberality and beneficence. 
Arabic parallel passage : 

' A - & H* A* &' & *' Ss A/ 

^ r xJ U/ l^ii-U ^^ ^^.f I [j JUJ ^ 

Translation : You cannot attain goodness un- 
less you spend most beloved things of yours. 

Persian Sufi thought : 

Translation : 

Try charity, Oh brother ! try charity : 
You will get relief from terrible misery. 

(2) Original Text from Dabistan : 

Translation : Forgiveness of the evil-doer and 
repulsion of anger with mildness. 
Arabic parallel passages : 

^so % ..r ^ e/ 5 

x -^ x X ' 

Translation : And those restrain their anger 
and pardon men, and Allah loves the doers of 
good to others. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 


4A> | su> du> jJb 

Translation : 

I tell thee what is forbearance, 
Whoever gives thee poison, give sugar. 
Whoever by force tears thy heart, give him 

gold as mine gives. 
Be not less than shade-giving tree. 
Whoever throws a stone at thee, give him fruit. 


(3) Original Text from Dabistan : 


Translation : Abstinence from worldly desires. 
Arabic parallel passages : 

M / A /lA 

Translation : Know that this world's life is 
only sport and play. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 

38 I280B 


Translation : 

Save thyself from the love of the world. 
Drink not the heart's blood for bread and money. 

(Bu Ali Qalandar.) 

(4) Original text from Dabistan : 


Translation : Care of freedom from bonds 
of the worldly existence and violence as well as 
accumulating precious stores for future real and 
perpetual world. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

xxyAxxuu ju / x Ju sAx ju xA * 

f ' 

xAx x^ 

Translation : -^This worldly life is nothing but 
sports and the other world is the real life if you 
think properly. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 

Translation : Accumulate your goods as far 
as you can, but if you have no accumulation you 
will be ashamed. (Sadi.) 

(5) Original text from Dabistan. 


Translation : Wisdom and devotion in fre- 
quent meditations on consequences of action. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

xA Ju/A / x x A x 

...JBJJ s. JbJ| , 

w y x x ^ 

Translation : The pious meditates on conse- 
quence of every action. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 


Translation : He is blessed who looks the 
consequence of actions. (Jalaluddin Rumi 

(6) Original text from Dabistan : 


Translation : Strength of dexterous prudence 
in the desire of marvellous action. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

Translation : Marvellous things have been 
expressed : if you only think them wisely. (Al- 

Persian Sufi thought : 

300 THE D1N-I-ILAH1 

Translation ; Below the curtain of the cycle 
of the world, look at the lights that shine. (Sadi.) 
(7) Original text from Dabistan : 

Translation : Soft voice, gentle words and 
pleasing speeches for everybody. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

Translation : Speak with gentle and pleasing 
words. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 

Translation : Oh brother ! If you have wisdom 
speak gentle and sweet words. (Fariduddin A ttar.) 
(8) Original text from Dabistan : 

; >v 

1 ranslation : Good treatment with brethren 
so that their will may have precedence to our own. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

Translation : Prefer (them) before themselves 
though poverty may afflict them. (Al-Quran.) 


Persian Sufithought : 

j * 

Counting of beads, spreading of napkins (before 
Namaz) and hermit's gown (are no worship) but the 
service of brethren (is the only worship). (Sadi.) 

(9) Original text from Dabistan. 

Translation : A perfect alienation from creatures 
and a perfect attachment to the Supreme Being. 

Arabic parallel passage : 

0Atf0Ax/AAsxA* i x f x 

Translation : Fly to Allah, surely I am a plain 
warner from Him. (Al-Quran.) 

Persian Sufi thought : 

Translation : For thy salvation, give up the world. 

Attach thyself to God with faith. (Shamsuddin 

10. Original text from Dabistan : 

Translation : Dedication of soul in the love of 
God and in the union with God, the Benefactor* 


Arabic parallel passage : 

x A x x\ \n / A x x x A xAxxA 

Translation : Tell, O, prophet, 

All my good actions, all my sacrifices, all my 
life and death are for Allah who is the 
preserver of all. (Al-Quran.) 

Persion Sufi thought : 

b ^ 

Translation : If you desire to meet with your 
friend (God) dedicate your life to the Soul 
(God) (Fariduddin Attar.) 

So far as the last commandment was concerned 
it has a Vedantic touch. The eternal craving of 
the human soul for a union with the lord and the 
ultimate sublimation with him has no direct and 
strict Islamic background though many Sufis have 
stretched Quranic verse no. 163 chap. VI. part III 
as quoted above to mean some thing like that, and 
accepted it as a creed in their life and philosophy. 
As a Sufi, Akbar cried with brother Sufis like Sadi, 
Rumi, Jami, Hafiz and Shamshuddin Tabrizi, 
for union with Him ; and the Happy Sayings as 
quoted by Abul Fazl clearly illustrated the view 
point of the great questor. Regarding the practice 
of his own life, we find a profound influence of his 


Hindu, Zoroastrian, Jain and Buddhist associates. 
As an inquisitive inquirer endowed with the spirit 
of reason, he learnt the Hindu alchemy and 
medicine and cultivated their Yoga system; like 
his Central Asian ancestor, he believed in astro- 
nomy and astrology; and after his association 
with the Zoroastrian Mobed, he believed that life 
might be lengthened by lightning fire or by the 
repetition of a thousand names of Sun. Following 
the Buddhist custom, he used to shave the crown of 
his head thinking that the soul passed through the 
brain. He turned into a vegetarian later in life; 
took one meal a day, slept for 3 hours daily ; all 
these were actuated by a desire to lenghthen his 
life and there was no question of apostasy if a 
man attempted a process to lengthen his life. The 
reader must make a distinction between what 
Akbar himself followed and what an Ilahian was 
expected to follow. Much misconception has crept 
into the Din-i-Ilahi owing to misunderstanding of 
Akbar 's personal practices and follower's practices ; 
and for that Badauni is responsible. 

The practices which he asked an Ilahian to 
follow were mostly Islamic in origin or had 
precedents in the actions of one or more renowned 
Islamic monarchs or saints. In chapter VI, the 
sanctity or authority behind his ' ' Ains ' ' has been 
quoted. No doubt that there is a Sufi touch 
throughout his life and actions, but this would have 
been no ground for branding Akbar as an apostate, 


had he not touched the Mulla interest in the distri- 
bution of religious endowments and turned Them 
out of their privileged position. 

Regarding court customs ceremonials ; They 
were mainly Persian setting on Indian stage acted 
by a Turko-Mughal of Indian birth. Akbar had 
spent his early life amongst the Persians, who 
were in that age the French men of the East and 
were famous for their culture and refinement. From 
them, he imbibed a love for refinement and finish. 
Thus many Persian festivals, manners and customs 
were introduced. There is no reason to suppose 
that those Persian customs were introduced out of 
spite against Arabian Islam. His Persian mother, 
Persian association, Persian teacher, Persian 
kinsmen, Persian courtiers had cast a spell on that 
mystic Central Asian boy born in that age of 
transition. He had a genius for selection of men 
and appreciation of talents and if he found that 
a Persian deserved to be appreciated, he gave him 
what he deserved. Indeed, not out of religious 
spite but out of love for Persia, "the meet nurse" 
for that mystic child of the desert that he intro- 
duced Persian customs and manners and it had 
no connection with his apostasy. This may be 
said of many Khalifas of Arabia who when con- 
quered Persia adopted and introduced many 
Persian customs and manners. 

In the 16th century India, religious and intellec- 
tual upheavals were extremely favourable towards 


the development of Sufi orders. Already there were 
72 sects in Islam and the Mehdi movement had 
created a stir in the minds of men. The wide scope 
of the commandments, freedom of worship and 
eclecticism in practices of daily life have given the 
fraternity a distinct Sufi touch peculiar to the age. 
Like an orthodox Islamic Sufi, he believed in the 
unity of God ; like a Hindu, he felt the universal 
presence of the Deity. To him the symbol of fire 
and sun " represented the Supreme Being in the 
letter of creation in the vast expanse of nature/' 
as if he was a Mobed, and the Jain principles of 
harmlessness and sanctity of animal life had almost 
made him a royal ViJ^shu. The Persian etiquette 
and manners formed the formula of the daily life 
of an Ilahian generally. 

He was even more eclectic in manners. Tolera- 
tion was the basis of the whole system. The 
Quranic verses breathe a spirit of toleration and 
the Quran was the back-ground of his beliefs ; Sufi 
thought gave him his inspiration for tolerance and 
not the Mulla interpretation of the Sacred Verses. 

Now the question is, whether the adoption 
of the manners and customs of the contempoiaiy 
world and their inclusion into the list of the court 
formalities signified his lapse from Islam, 6 or whether 

5 Ref. Risal-i-Shibli. 

(a' The Prophet himself adopted the firing machine during his life 
lime. Chapter on Tarajman, p. 4. 

lb; The Sahabis adopted many foreign social manners and spoke 
foreign languages Persian, Hebrew and Syriac. Fathul Bui dan, p. 474. 

39 -1280B 


toleration granted to non-Muslims is enough to 
brand him as an apostate. 

The Din~i-Ilahi or Din-i- Islam was not a 
new religion ; it was a Sufi order with its own 
formula in which all the principles enunciated are 
to be found in the Quran and in the practices 
in the contemporary Sufi orders. Akbar did not 
insist on, nor did he like his own practices of 
daily life to be followed by all Hahians. Many of his 
regulations and practices had no connection with 
the Din. Some came much earlier and some 
were later than the Din-i-Ilahi. The dice of the 
coin was cut 8 years prior to the Din, the Taslim 
of Allaho Akbar was formulated four years 
after. The gradual changes and adoptions showed 
that the Din was no clear-cut system of religion 
and had no distinct ethical code beyond that 
formulated by the Ten commandments. Thus 
changes in the social, economic and political life 
of the state would have come even if the Din were 
not there. The participation of the Jains, Sikhs, 
and Christians was between 1582-92, the Din 
was evolved early in 1 582 before they had come 
to the court. So the Din had but little or no 
connection with those faiths. The Din was no 

Khalifa Mamun introduced many laws of Ardesir of Persia. His 
ministers were more Zoroastrians than Muslims. Many Hindu customs 
weie introduced in royal paraphernalia such as, Royal umbrella, 
weighing against gold by orthodox Muslim Kings long before Akbar 
in India. 


religion outside Islam, nor cut out of it. An 
Ilahian never regarded it as a separate religion ; an 
Ilahian was often as orthodox as a Mulla. When 
toleration was granted to the Christians, permission 
was given to them for making conversion. Azam- 
khan, an Ilahian, grew furious and vehemently 
protested against it. Faizi, the Mujtahid of the 
Din-i-Ilahi, made conversions of the Hindus into 
Islam even after the Din was promulgated and 
regarded it an act of merit to copy the Quran. 
Some suggest that the death of Abul Fazl was 
procured by Salim as a protest against his father's 
religion for which Abul Fazl was supposed to have 
been responsible. 

But this is not warranted by the way in which 
Jahangir spoke of his father in the Tuzuk-i- 
Jahangiri, " My father never for a moment 
forgot God." There were personal motives with 
Salim; a feeling of jealousy, a sense of insecurity 
and complex of inferiority to Abul Fazl served as 
prime motives of the murder. Bir Singh Bundela, 
a Hindu, did the murder and not a Muslim. Had 
it been purely a religious protest why was not a 
Muslim hired for it ? Smith wants to say that Akbar 
ceased to be a Muslim at least for a time and quoted 
Akbar's own speech to support his view. This 
misconception of Smith was due to his misreading 
of the text of the Ain-i- Akbar i. The India Office 
copy from which Mr. Yusuf AH quoted gives a 
true version of the text. In an open meeting of the 

308 THE DlN-I-ILAHl 

East India Association in London in which both 
Dr. Smith and Mr. Yusuf Ali were present, Smith 
was shown his mistake. 

The formula of the Din "there is no God 
but God, and Akbar is his representative" as 
Badauni says, " was not a general creed of the 
Ilahians, but was meant only for the harem." Even 
if it were meant for all Ilahians, there would be no 
necessary opposition to Muslim Kalema (Ref. 
Hadis), as has been suggested by Mr. Yusuf Ali in 
his famous article in the E.I. Association Journal. 
It does certainly imply a gloss which indicates 
Akbar's attitude 6 towards the millennial ideas 
of the time in which he was confirmed by the 
warring dissensions on open problems of religion 
in the Ibadat Khana. 7 May be that he was to some 
extent attracted by a motive similar to that of 
Erasmus, the Ilahians are as much non-Muslim as 
were the Covenants of Scotland non-Christians. 8 
The inscription composed by Abul Fazl under 
instruction from his great master on a temple in 
Kashmir, illustrates beautifully the soul and craving 
of that master mind : 

6 E. I. Association Journal, London, 1915, pp. 296-298. 

7 Badauni, II, pp. 201-202. 

8 Even during his own time the practices of Akbar were misinter- 
preted by the orthodox class. Abdwlla Khan Uzbeg wrote to Akbar 
charging him with apostasy to which Akbar replied refuting thope 
charges which have been pieserved in the letters of Abul Fazl, called 
Daftar-i Abul Fazl, compiled by his son-in law. 


O, God, in every temple I see people that 
worship Thee, and in every language I 
hear spoken people praise Thee. 

Polytheism and Islam feel after Thee. 

Each religion says, ' Thou art One, without 

If it be a Mosque, people murmur Thy holy 

prayer and if it be a Christian Church 

people ring Thy bell from love of Thee. 
Sometime I frequent the Christian cloister, and 

sometime the Mosque, 
But it is Thou whom I search from temple to 

Thy eclect have no dealings with either heresy 

or orthodoxy : for neither of them stands 

behind the screen of Thy truth. 
Heresy to the heretic, and religion to the 

orthodox : 
But the dust of the petal belongs to the heart 

of the perfume-seller." 

Indian Antiquary, Col. Wolesey Haig, History of Khandesh. 




Original Secondary 

i I 

1 I ! I 

Indian Foreign Post-Akbar Modern 

(Incl. Turki^ | Non-Indian authors authors 

'_ Jesuits | ! 

Literary Archaeo- Numismatic 


Jesuits Non-Jesuits 


Books Periodicals 

Original Indian 

1 I ) Akbarnama by Abul Fazl is by far the best 
history written by any historian on the subject. It 
comes up to the year 1 602 . 

(2) Ain-i-Akbari by Abul Fazl may be regarded 
as supplementary to Akbarnama ; it is of a very 
high value. 

(3) Tabqat-i-Akbari by Nizamuddm. It is an 
official chronology it does not deal with Akbar's 
religion directly. It covers up to the year 1593-4. 

(4) Muntakhab-ut Twarikh by Abdul Qadir 
Badauni. This is a very valuable source book 
for the study of Akbar's religion. He was a staunch 
Mulla and belonged to the anti-reform party in the 
state (up to 1 595-6). 1924 A.S.B. Tr. has been used. 

(5) In Najatur-Rashid by the same author ; the 
marriages of Akbar are mentioned. 


(6) Tarikhi-Alfi "the History of Thousand 
years'* by Maulana Ahmad written under orders of 
Akbar. The genesis of this book lay rooted 
in a belief that Islam was coming to a close 1 000 
years after Muhammad. 

(7) Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri or Jahangir-nama by 
Jahangir. It gives some description of the Din-i- 
Ilahi specially of the formalities and ceremonies of 
initiation of the disciples. 

(8) Waqiyat-i-Jahangiri, by Jahangir; It gives 
some interesting incidents of Akbar's life and 
throws light on his religion. 

(9) Humayun-nama and Babar nama give some 
interesting information on the heredity of Akbar. 

( 1 0) Malf uzat-i-Timuri written by Timur him- 
self in Turki. It is available in Persian and English 
translations. Though full of self praise, it throws 
much light on Timurid family customs. 

(11) Tarikh-J-Ferishta by Qasim Hindu Shah 
alias Ferishta. It is very widely known in India 
because it was the source-book of Elphinstone. 
But it cannot be very much relied upon as the 
author depended more on unrecorded traditions 
without taking sufficient pains to scrutinise 

(12) Dabistan-i-Mazahib, written probably by 
Mohsin Fani about half a century after Akbar's 
death. This book contains very interesting dia- 
logues of the Ibadat Khana and maxims of the 


(13) Akhbar-ul-Akhyar by Abdul Haq is 
valuable for a knowledge of Muslim saints in 
India up to 1572. 

(14) lstalehat-i~Sufia by Ziaul Indabi; it is of 
help of interpretations of Sufi terms. The book 
was published in 1322 A.H. 

Jesuit Sources 

Portuguese accounts (Jesuits) V. A. Smith 
relies on Jesuit authorities too much. The Jesuits 
were hardly reporting or observing as historians. 
They were primarily missionaries and largely for- 
tune-seekers. Their visions were often prejudiced. 

(1) "The first Jesuit Mission to Akbar" 
published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal J914). 
It is a translation of Mongolicae Legationis corn- 
men tarius by Monserrate. 

(2) Monserrate's account of Akbar written in 
1 582 published in Journal and Proceedings of 
the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1912. The 
Relacam has become famous in this connection. 

(3) Persian Far mans granted to the Jesuits 
by the Moghal Emperor published by Hosten. In 
them the motive of calling the Portuguese to the 
court of Akbar may be found. 

(4) Peruschi is the earliest printed authority 
for the missions. 

(5) Bartoli supplies valuable, though second- 
hand, materials on Akbar 's religion. 


(6) De Souza's account is of a later date, publish- 
ed in 1710 and contains the account of missions 
from 1564-1585. 

(7) Payne's famous work " Akbar and Jesuits " 
is a work in which Payne made a very reliable 
scrutiny of Smith's Jesuit sources. He has proved 
that Smith's Jesuit references are misleading. 

(8) Maclagan's recent publication (April, 1932) 
''Jesuits and the Mogor" is a book of consi- 
derable interest but is not absolutely faultless. 

Non-Jesuits Sources 

In these sources, occasional references may be 
found about Akbar and the Mughal Empire, some- 
times, fantastic ; but they have very little connection 
with Akbar 's religion. The prominent of them 
are Fitch, Mildenhall and Roe. 


Modern Writers 

(1 ) Elphinstone's History of India. The book 
was published in 1 84 1 when the sources of Indian 
history were not fully worked out. Though ably 
written, it does not satisfy a present-day scholar. 

(2) Von Noer, the great German historian of 
Akbar, is possibly one of the few European writers 
who have written eastern chronicles with respect and 



reverence. Smith has put him in the roll of a 
panegyrist like Abul Fazl. 

(3) "Akbar the Great Mogul," by V. A. 
Smith. He does not generally praise an eastern 
monarch nor can he brook any other praising an 
eastern monarch. He is a great historian no 
doubt but he is biased and anti-east. 

(4) The translators of the original histories 
of the Mughal such as Blochmann, Gladwin, 
Raverty, Mr. and Mrs. Beveridge, Lowe, Briggs 
and others have often left very interesting notes on 
the religious views of Akbar. Of them certainly 
Blochmann and Beveridge are very useful. 

(5) E. G. Browne, Literary History of Persia. 
In it we find references to Sufi doctrines. 

(6) Titus, Indian Islam. This book written 
from a Christian's point of view and may be read 
with interest. 

(7) Mohammad Habib, Sultan Muhammad of 
Ghazni ; different aspects of Semitic and Aryan 
outlook on religion has been discussed in it. The 
introduction is of special merit. 

(8) Harold Lamb, Timur the Earth Shaker 
(Temojin). It is a general study on Timur the Lame. 

(9) Parker, " Thousand Years of the Tartars. " 
It gives a vivid picture of early Turks in their 
native home. 

(10) Encyclopaedia of Religion, Vol. I. Article 
on Akbar by Beveridge has been written purely 
in the light of Western interpretations* 


(11) History of the Saracens, by Ameer Ali. 

(12) Erskine, How was India Governed by 
Islam ? 

(13) Murray's Discoveries and Travels in Asia, 
1802, Vol. II. 

(14) Ethnography of Upper India by Dr. 
Prichard. (Royal Geographical Society publi- 

(15) District Gazetteers of Delhi and Agra. 

(16) Studies in Mysticism, by Nicholson. It is 
an excellent book of its kind. 

(17) J. J. Modi, " Parsis at the Court of 
Akbar," Bombay, 1903. It is a good production 
but requires to be rewritten in the light of modern 

(18) Hughes, Dictionary of Islam. It is a uade- 
mecum for students of Islamic History. 

(19) Pr ingle Kennedey, History of the Great 
Moghuls. After Howworth's History of the 
Mongols, it is very informative. 

(20) History of India as told by its Own 
Historians, by Elliot and Dowson, Vols. V-VIL 
They contain some good extracts from originals and 
may be consulted by beginners in the field. 

(21) Dineschandr a Sen's History of the Bengali 
Language is valuable for Hindu gods in Muslim 

(22) Sind and its Sufism by Gulraj. It is a 
Theosophical publication and gives beautiful 
glimpses of the tenets of Sufis of Sind. 


(23) H. G. Wells, History of the World. 
Chengiz's life has been put in a new light. It is 
not after all a history. 

(24) Quran, by Muhammad Ali. 

Urdu (Modern) 

(1) " Arab aur Hindustan ke Talluqat, 
by Maulana Suleiman Nadvi. The relation 
between India and Arabia is excellently depicted 
in Urdu. It may be of use to those who want to 
work on the reciprocal influence of Hinduism and 
Islam. Allahabad. 

(2) "Maqalat-i-Shibli," Vol. I. Here the 
Muslim writers of Hindu religion have interpreted 
Hinduism in their own light. Azamghar. 

(3) Asar-i-Sayeed. It treats of Muslim patronage 
of Hindu religion. 

(4) Darbar-i-Akbari, by Muhammad Hosain 
Azad is very important Urdu work, though not 
purely historical ; it contains many interesting details. 


(1) " Nana Charcha, " by P. Chowdhury- 
(Birbal) for Nine gems of Akbar. Calcutta. 

(2) "Madhya Juge Bharater Sadhana, " by 
KshJtimohan Sen. Excellent lectures on Hindu- 
Moslem fusion in the Middle Ages of Indian 
History. Calcutta. 


(3) " Moghul Raj Bansha," by Ram Pran 
Gupta for details of Turko-Moghul family customs. 


(1) " Hindi ke Mussalman Kabi," by Ganga 
Prasad. (Muhammadan poets of Hindi Literature.) 
It is an excellent collection and should find a place 
in every Library. Benares. 

(2) Life of Abdur Rahim Khan Khanan. 

(3) Nine Jems of Akbar's Court. (Nawratan.) 


The Architectural remains should be personally 
visited. No amount of study will be equal to 
a personal inspection. The best thing would be to 
read the books and then supplement the reading 
by personal visit. 

(1) Report of the Archaeological Survey of 
India, 1871-87. 

(2) Mughal Architecture of Fatehpur Sikri has 
been described and illustrated by Smith. 

(3) Akbar's Tomb at Sekandra, by Smith. 

(4) Abdul Latiff, Agra, Historical and Des- 
criptive, " with an account of his court and of 
the modern city of Agra." 



(1) Thomas, " Coins of the Pathan Kings of 
Delhi illustrated by coins, inscriptions and other anti- 
quarian remains/ 1 History oi: Akbar's coinage has 
some interest in the change of Monogram from 
** Bismillah-iHRahman-ir-Rahim " to " Allaho- 

(2) H. N. Wright, Coins of the Indian Museum, 

(3) Lane-Poole, Coins of the British Museum : 
The Mughal Emperors. 


Uptil now no history has been attempted 
through pictures, drawings and paintings of Mughal 
period. There are materials enough to form a 
pictorial history of Akbar. Pictures may be found 
in the Museums at Delhi and Agra, in London 
Museums and in the show rooms of the Delhi Fort. 
Some old families descending from the period 
still possess many beautiful pictures and drawings 
of contemporary India. So far as religion is con- 
cerned, pictures of Khankas, Ibadat Khana, shrines 
and tombs are valuable. 


(1) As. Qu. Rev., Jan., Religion of Akbar 

1 898. by Karkaria. 

(2) Cal. Review., Jan., 1906 Akbar's Religious 

policy. (Karkaria). 


(3) Gal. Review Oct., 1906 Akbar's Religious 

Policy by Karkaria. 

(4) Jan., 1908 

(5) J.R.A.S., XXI, 1904 Parsis at the Court of 

Akbar by J. J. 

(6) Jain Shasana . Vir . San . , Published at Benares . 


(7) Cal. Quarterly Orien- 

tal Review, Vol. I., 

(8) J.R.A.S., Vol. Ill, pp. Mughal Paintings 

192-212. re: Akbar's Reli- 

gious Discussions. 

(9) Journal and Proceedings Monserrate (Hosten.) 

of the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal 1922. 

(10) Calcutta Review, Jan., Akbar and the 

1897. Parsis. 

(11) J.R.A.S., 1915, pp. Smith's Article on 

237-43. Akbar's Court. 

(12) J.R.S.B., Part I, Vol. 

XXXVII, 1868, p. 

(13) J.A.S.B., Part I, For Jesuit Missions 

Vol. LXV, pp. 38- at Akbar's Court. 

(14) J.R.A.S., 1869, p. 20. Blochmann's Account 

of Badauni. 

(15) Asia Major, II, 1927. Alphabet of Phagspa. 


(16) J.R.A.S., Bombay, Paintings of the Ibadat 

1928. Khana. 

(17) J.R.A.S., 1917 Smith's Ibadat 


(18) J.R.A.S., 1869 For Badauni's 


(19) Transactions of the For Blochmann's re- 

Bombay Literary So- ferences. 
ciety, 1824. 

(20) Article published from By Prof. Rahestsek 

Bombay, 1866. "Emperor's Re- 

pudiation of Islam. ' ' 

(21) Yusuf Ali's article in East India Association 

Journal, 1915. " A New Standpoint on 
Akbar's Religion." 

(22) " Nigar " Akbar in " Ain-i-Akbari." by A. 

Sobhan. 1927. 

(23) Journal of Indian History, 1 926. ''Islam in 

Kashmir/' by R. C. Hall. 

(24) Ephigraphica Indo-Moslemica. For Akbar's 


(25) J.R.A.S., 1 830. For Khelafat pretensions. 

(26) J,R.A.S., 1844 Bombay Branch. 

(27) Calcutta Review, 1 844. For local laws, 

customs and manners of tribal India. 

(28) Journal of the Moslem Institute, 1 905. 

(29) Muslim Review, 1910. Allahabad. 

(30) Islamic Culture for Felix Vayle's interesting 

articles on Akbar. 1 928, Vols. I and 2. 

(3 1 ) Transactions of the 3rd International Congress 

for History of Religion, Vol. p. 314 


(Arranged Alphabetically) 

(The numbers refer to pages ; 
same word occurs twice or more 
only once in the Index.) 

Abbas, Shah of Persia, 32N18, 97, 

110, III 

Abbasid, 33, 106, 128. 240N35 
Abdals (.sec Chihil Tanan), 95, 257 
Abdul Latif, 52, 108, 136, 265 

Abdul Qadir (see Badauni) 

Abdul Quddos of Gango, 122 

Abdulla Khan, 187, 196 

Abdulla Khan Uzbeg, 196 

AbdulL Niyazi, 67, 68, 70, 75 

Abdulla Sultanpuri, 58, 59, 75, 76, 
79, 87, 112, 122, 124, 131. 139, 

Abdullah (ambassador), 186 

Abdu-n Nabi (Sadr-us-Sudur), 56 ; 
his attainments, 57 ; his ortho- 
doxy, 58, 60 ; in charge of Sayur- 
tfhal lands and Ay mas, 61 ; in 
the Ibadat Khana, 75, 76; he is 
discredited, 78, 79, 85, 87, 94, 
108, 112, 120, 121. 122, 124, 125; 
his death, 126. H3. 139,217,227, 
228, 254 

Abdur Raharnan, Qazi of Mathuia, 

Abdur Rahim Khankhan,in, 19. 20, 

Abdur Rasul, 62 

Abdus Samad, 292 

Abu Ah, Qalaiidar, 24 

Abu bin Laila, 227 

AbuBkr, 128N1 

Abu Hanifa, 56, 227 

A bu Mirza, 245 

Abu Say id Mirza, 39 

Abul Falh iGilani), 120, 131, 132, 

133. 204, 294 
*Abul Fazl <s?e Ain-i-Akbari}, 58N 

' N * refeis to Foot Note. When the 
in the same page, it has been entered 

28, 58, 65.75N75.85.99, 104, III. 
117. 124, 127, 148, 165. 176. 180, 
188 196, 207N43, 21 1.217, 218N7, 
227, 234, 234N27, 234,237,247. 
252. 255, 268. 269, 270. 275, 276- 
Nl, 278, 280,281,283,285.287- 
N23, 288, 292, 293, 302. 307, 308, 
i Adam, 14, 104,233 
i Adam Khan 45, 135N1 
I AdilShahSur, 135M 
i Adiswara temple, 162 
I Aditya, 138 

Afghans f sec also lurks), 1, 4,6, 
61, 89 

Ahadis, 76 ; Kitab-ul Ahadis, 269 

AhhKitab, 181 

Ahmad, 222, 238N32, 255 

Ahmadulla, 235N32 

Ahrman, 156 

*Airi-i-Akbari (also see Abul Fazl 
and Blochmann). 41, 56N24. 58- 
N28, 76N14, 122N4, 126NI7, 
139N8, 152N11. 157, 159N6 168- 
N8, 18 IN 16, 203N40, 209N5I, 
2I7N2, 218N7. 234N24, 269N2, 
274N12, 278N5, 281N9, 282N12, 
285N19, 287N22, 288N24, 290N1. 
291N2, 307 

Ain-ul-Mulk, 262 

Akbar A's birth, 25,26,31,39,44; 
A under Bairam's guardianship, 
45,46.47.49; A's early difficul- 
ties, 51, 52, early impressions, 52, 
54 . Shia influence, 57 66; Sunni 
influence, 57 66 ; background of 
Ibadat Khana, 67-69 T A in the 
Ibadat Khana, 70 76 ; A's mental 
condition during this ptriod. 72 ; 
commentary of the Quran order- 
ed, 74-75 ; pilgrim grant, 77-78 ; 
marriage debate, 79 ; quarrels be- 

* References in connection with Ain-i-Akbari are from the 
translation by Blochmann, Ed. 1873 A.S.B. 

41 1280B 



tween Shias and Sunnis., 80-81 ; 
Khelafat pretensions of A, 8 1-83; 
murder of the Brahmin of Mathura 
and its effects of A, 85-88; feudo- 
icligious rebellion against A, 81- 
93; reform of education, 94; 
Sadei dept. reorganised, 94 ; 
Mahzar (Infallibility decree , 
98-115; title of the Khalifa uz- 
Zaman, 112, 116, 117, 118, 120; 
Sunnis at court, 1 16-127 ; Shias at 
court, 127-133; Hindus at court, 
133-147; Nine Jewels at court, 
137N6; Hindu Books translated, 
138-139; Hindu Saints, 140; 
Hir.du customs, 143-144; A's 
views on Hindu incarnation, 
146-147; reforms of Hindu prac- 
tices, 147; A and Toroastrians, 
147-157; A's experiments of Zo- 
roastrian practices, 152-155; Zoro 
aslrian festivals adopted, 156; A 
and the Tains, 157-169; A and the 
Jews, 169-70; A and Christians, 
170-212; A's fir*t acquaintance 
with Christians, 171-173; motives 
behind invitation of Christians, 
173-186; evaluation of Christian 
sources of A's history, 174-178; 
Farman to Goa, 186-187; Debates 
on religion, 189; Translation of 
the Bible, 190; A and Monserrate, 
193; quarrel at Daman, 194-196 
break up of the first mission, 196- 
197; 2nd mission and its failure, 
200-201 ; A's cautious behaviour 
with the 3rd mission, 202-203; 
Christian view of A's religious 
quest, 203-204 ; I ^ahore fire, ^205 ; 
A and Xavier, 207; A's legisla- 
tions, 216-267 : Cho* oWiral li-t 
of Regulations, 220-224, Canons 
of Test of Laws, ?24-226 : A and 
marriage question, 27-228 , A 
and court seals, 228 ; A and 
Quran, 22; Trtnslalion of 
Hindu Books, 2^0 ; Pilgrim dept , 
230-31' Hunting stopped, 231- 
232 Siidah, 232-236; Translation 
of the Bible, 236-239 : Shaving of 
beard allowed, 239; Oath of 
allegiance, 240-241 ; Nawiuz cele- 
brated, 241-242 ; Mullas exported, 

239; Alfi Era, 243-244; Wine 
permitted, 244-246 ; Prostitutes 
segregated, 246; Dc?s and Poars 
reared, 246-248; Silk dress, 249- 
250 ; marriage regulated, 250-251 ; 
Feasts at death and biith, 251 ; 
Namaz, Azan, Haj, 252-253; 
Curiicula of educa!ion reformed, 
253-255, alleged destruction of 
Qurans, 255 256 ; Sacred names 
omitted, 256; Assembly of Forty, 

257 ; Alms house, 257 ; Dice play, 

258 ; llahi Era, 258 ; laws of burial, 
259; Salutation, 260; ' Sali ' dis- 
couraged, 26 1 ; Circumcision, 262 ; 
Darshaniya, 263; Toleration 
granted, 264-267, Bada^ni and 
Akbar, 268-275 : Nassau Lees on 
A, 275 ; Din-i-Ilahi promulgated, 
276-289; principles of the Din, 
279; philosophy of A, 2*0 ; 
Priests of the Dm. 281-282; A's 
Farman to his governors, 283 ; 
Initiation to Din, 284; Chelas, 
285 ; ' Shast,' 286 ; Rules of Con- 
duct of an Ilahian,287; Prayers 
of the Din 288: Practices, 288; 
Estimate of A in connection with 
his Din-i-Ilahi, 302-309 

Akbar Jami, 129 

*Akbarnama (also see Beveridge*, 

73N8. 77N15. 149N>, 165N2. 

166N3. 167N5, 188N20, I90N22. 

I95N30, 206, 247N43, 250N5I, 


Akhbar-ul-Akhiyar, UN 16 
Akhlaqi, 257 

Alauddin Khilji, 6. 19, 86, 93, 242, 


Al Beruni, 3 IN 17, 230. 244 
Alchemy, 303 
Alfi Era, 243 
Ali, 127N1 

AliMirza Sultan. 41N'43 
Allami (see Faizi) 
Alms house, 257 
Amir. 73, 98, 113. 119 
Amir Khamau, 6N9, 16, 17, 18 
Amir ul Muminin, 84, 1 1 1 
Angus Dei, 201 
Antonio Cabral, 171 
Antonio Vaz. 171 
Anuptalao, 67, 227. 287 

* References in connection with Akbarnama are from Beveridge's 



Aquaviva Rudolf, 120, 159, 185, 
l6, 188, 189, 193, 194, 195, 196, 

Arab Bahadur, Q| 

Arab Shah, 36 

Aiabic language. 74; language dis- 
couraged 253 Curricula changed 
253254, Arabic alphabets substi- 
tuted by Persian, 255 

Ardeshir, 149N2 

Ardeshir Bagchan, 142N2 

Arhai-dm-ka jhopia, 6 

Arif Hasan, 252 

Arjun, Sikh Guru 162, 164 

Aryan, 8N 12, 21,262 

Asaf Khan, 73 

Asan, 12 

Asok, 70NI. 182,282 

Assembly of Forty, 134 222,257, 

291 (ChihilTnnai.) 
Assessment of Land Revenue, 61, 

Astrology, Astronomy, 50, 152N8. 


Atharba Veda (see Veda 
Atma, Param Atma, 18 
Aurangzeb, 231 
Avar?, 9 

Ayatul Kursi, 75 
Ayma 12, 57, 62, 63, 77NI7, 79, 

101, 191,218,251,294 
Azad Hosain l&rc Darbar-i Akbari) 

Azam Khan, 208, 209, 266, 278, 281, 

Azan, 249 

Azar Kaivan, 156 

AzizKok-i.65,92, 125 


RabaKhan, 91 

Babar, 39, 40, 41, 42, 53N12, 84, 97, 
106, 111, 121, 129, 135, 136 245, 

* Badauni (also Muntakhabu t Twa- 
rikh,,23,25.57N26,57N29. 59 62, 
67N48, 68, 69, 70N2 71N5, 72, 73, 
74N10, 75N12, 76, 77N15, 78N19, 

79, 85N36. 86N37 87,\38, 93N50, 
95N53, 101N4, 102, 104 I07N23, 
1/ON10, III, 112, II3N22, 115, 
122, 123, 124N8, 125NI3, I26NM5, 
127, 130N6. 131N8, 132, I33N14, 
134N16, 135, 140, 14!, 142, 153, 
154N5. 157N7, 166 167. 168, 
203N40, 219, 223, 226, 227, 228N- 
14,229, 230, 231, 232, 235N26, 
236,237, 238,241,242 244,246, 
247, 249,251, 252, 255N50. 256, 
258, 260N52. 262, 2(3, 264 266, 
267; Badauni'? angle of vision, 
2*8, 275, 276N1, 277N4, 279, 281, 
283. 285 2P6. 289, 293N4, 303, 

Badr (battle^, 3, 225, 265 

Baharji, 15 

Bahatar Ferqa. 23 



Bahmani Kingdom, 49 

Bahrul Asmar (Rajtarangini), 270 

Baigh Khan, 278 

Bairam Khan, 44, 45, 55. 56. 107, 
108, 122, 129, 130, 135. 144, 145, 

Baisakhi, 10 

Baitul mal, 105 

Baitul Moqaddas, 105 

Bakarji, 15 

Balban,93 228N16, 242 

Banerjee.S K., 107N13 

Bartoli 273N 1,274 

Basanta Panchami, 10 

Basu Dev Misra, 139 

Baul, 10 

Bayezid, 1 33,40, 105, 115, 12! 

Baz Bahadur, 51 

Beads, 16 

Rechna Devi, 9 

Behari Mal, 135 

Benedict of Goes, 201, 205,206, 

Bengal and Behar Rebellion, 254, 

255, 256, 272 

Peveiidge (see Akbarnama^. 
Bhagirath Bhattacharjee, 139 
Bhagwan Das, 64, 144 
Bhanu Chandra Sen Suri, 159, 160, 

Bhanu Chandra Upadhay a. 153, 182 

* (Bad. stands for Padauni.) References to Muntakhabu-t Twarikh, 
Vol. II, are from Lowe's Translation (Bib. Indica), and from Rankin 
(Vol. UK 



Bharatbarsha la monthly magazine*, 

Bharat ltiha.h Samshodhak Mandai, 

Poona, 72N6 
Bhats of U P , 9 
Bhawan, 140 
Bhudan. 7 
Bible, 188, 189, 190, 236, 237, 239, 

277, 293 

BidyaNibas, 139 
Bikramjit, 22 
Birbal, Birbar, 71, 85, 133, 142. 145, 

151, 154,275,293 
Bir Singh Bundela, 307 
Bisii. 1 SON 15 

Biswa Karma (Hindu God>, 10 
Boar. 222, 246, 247, 248, 271, 272 
Brahma (Hindu God), 140 
Brahmin, 7, 9, 10. 13, 15,52, 54, 73, 

118, 120, 161, 168, 181,223,260 
Brahmin of iVUhuia, 85, 86, 124 


Brahmin (Husaini', 11 
Branding Regulation, 66N14, 87, 89, 


Bribery, 57 

Browne, E. G , 35N25, 105N9 
Bu AliSenai, 246M1 
Buckler <'Lceister UniverMty Lec- 

ture>, 40N38, 66, 113, I29N3, 


Buddha, 30 
Buddhism (Shraman, Sarnan). 28, 

29,31,49, 82, 120, 141, 154, 159 
Buddhists at the court of Akbar, 

165-169, 216. 231 232, 295, 303 
Building of Churches, 265 
Bulbul <a Calcutta monthly), 230N17 
Burial, 223,224,251,259 
Butenschon. 170NIO 
Byram Shaikh, 249 
Bysundar. 38 

Cama Magazine (Institute), 150N2 

Cartrou, 180 

Celebacy of clergy, 193 

Central Asian, 4, 13 16, 26; Central 
Asian background. 26-44. 27, 42, 
53, 55, 127 167, 216, 235,236, 
237. 248, 251, 294, 295, 303, 304 

Chaitanya, 13, 22, 94 

Chandra Sen (Surgeon), 136 

Chapkan, 250 
Charbak, 167 
Chela* (sec Disciple', 223, 263, 264, 

285, 287 
Chcngiz. 26, 28, 29, 42, 143, 151. 

154, 155, 159, 178, 197,236 
Chihil Tanan (forty Abdals>, 134, 

Christ (see Jesus\ 169, 176, 186, 

189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 211,238, 

265. 273, 290 
Christian (also Catholic and Piotes- 

tamV, 1,2,3,4,21,28,29,30,33, 

41N42, 55, 64, 82, 83, 127, 151, 

152, 154, 166; Christians at the 
court of Akbar, 167-212,225,235, 
237, 239, 262, 265, 266, 273, 
276N1, 290, 304, 306, 307, 309 

Christmas, 145, 155 

Christopher Vega, 179 

Chogtai <scc also Turks\ 39, 42, 43. 
49, 64. 110, 121 

ChwticuU, 11 

Choudhuri, 61, 6'J 

Chronogram of Seal, 220 

Circumcision, 220, 259 

Commandments of the Din-i-llahi, 
279-282, 296-302, 303, 306 

Commentaries, I89N22 

Conveision to Christianity, 183N 18. 
197, 208N50, 264 

Conveision of a Darshaniya, 263 
Cow, Cow slaughter, 31, 203,223, 

23?, 273 

Cultural fellowship, 264N4 
Cunningham, 163N1. 164N6 


Dabistan-i-Mazahib (.see Mohsin 
Fani,, 81N22-30, 134. 143N18, 
147N27, 151N5, 156N17, 157N1, 
163, 164N5, 165, 169, 170NI, 188, 
248N46, ?54N259, 272N12, 278, 
279, 283, 288, 289 

DabuKPond), 159 

Dade Kulas (Hindu Sect', 9 

Dadu (Saint , 15, 24, 139, 140 

Daftar-i Abul Fazl, 308N8 

Dag Kardan (sec Branding Regu- 

Dalai Lama, 30 

Dara Sukoh, 22N27 

Darbar-1-Akbari, 65, 252N55 

Darbar-i-Am, 232 



DarrnesteU-r, 123N6 

Dcir.shan, 287 

Datshdniya, 224, 263, 2f,4, 285, 2o7 

Darshaniyn Manzil, 287 

Dar ul Mam, 265 

I'ar-ul-KMafal, 197N32 

Darweshiya Cult, 15, 37, 39 

Dashera iHmdu Festival). 9, 10 

DaMur, 118, 148, 182 

Dastur Mahyarji Ra a (sec Mahy- 
aiji Rana) 

Daswanath iPamter), 136 

Daud Khan Karararii, 66, 67 

* Davrid Shea and Antony Troyer 

'see Dabistau-i-Mazahib' 
Degrees, of an Hainan, 221 , 240, 284 
DenaTalwa, 12 
Deity, 305 
De Sousa, 180, 189 
Devi (Hindu Yogi', 140, 141 
Dewali sec Dipabalil, 11, 102, 147, 


Dhuni \Ash-pit), 9 
Dice of coin, 304 
Dice Play, 223, 228 

Din-i-llahi, 68, 102, 115, 208N50, 
221,236,240, 242, 248,249,252, 
253,261,265, 266; Pin-i-llahi in 
promulgation, 276-289; Ten 
Commandments, 279 ; its Princi- 
ples, 277-278: Priests, 281; 
Initiation, 284; Symbol, 285- 
286; Prayer, 288; Practices, 288- 
28^; Din-i-Labi in Movement 
290-309 Contnbutkn of the 
Ibadat Khana to tbe Din, 293 
294 , parallel passages from the 
Quran and contemporary Sun 
writings, 295-302; Practices o 
the Din discussed, 303-304: it 
customs and ceremonials, 3^4 
305 ; Criticism of the order, 306 

Din-i-Islam, 305 

Di^iple, 21,22, 285, 289, 292 

Divine Era (see Era) 

Divine Faith (see Din-i-Ilahi) 

Dogs, 222, 246, 247 

Doha I Religious Couplet), 19 

Dom Antonio de Norhona, 171 

Dommico Parez, 172, 186 

Do-Pyaza (a courtier of Akbar) 

Drinking (s<.e Wine) 

Du Jmc, 177, 17ft, 17W11, 196N31, 

I97N33, 20!, 202N37, 2C4N41, 

206, 253, 273, 283 

E and D (Elliot and Dowscn >. 5N7. 

6N10, 7N11 73N8, 89N44. 

107N14, 109NI6, 110N17 230N17 

252N56, 253N57 
E. I. Association Journal, 65N40, 

278N6 307, 308 
Educational Reforms of Alcbar 93 


Elizabeth, 106, 112, 196, 219 
Elphinbtone, 4N5, 51N5, 157 
English, 183, 184 211 
Era (sec Alfi, Hijn, I unar and 

Solan, 71 N2 81,243,244,259 
Erasmus, 308 

skinc 139N2, 218N6 250N49 
Estavas Rillerio, 199 

Fadk 'Date grove in Arabia) 81 
Faizifscc Allami). II, 65, 70. 71, 

111. 117, 123, 127, 139, 207N45 

217, 230, 238. 255, 268, 269, 270 

Falzi Sarhindi, 207, 294 
Falaki, 237 

Fariduddin Attar, 300 301 
Faridun Be^, 33, 106NII 
Farman, 158, 181 186, 187, 199N35, 

208N49, 254N58 283 
Farughi, 38N33 
Farz (Compulsory), 224, 225 
Fatima, 127NI. 255 
Fathul Buldan, 305N50 
Fatwa (Injunction), 89. 219. 221 
Felix Vayle (see Islamic Culture >, 

27N4, 30N12, 35N26, 82N32, 148, 

Festivals, 147, 151, 155, 156N116, 

Fiqh (Juristic decisions!, 134, 

218N8U), 219.252 

* Original used is Nawal Kishor's Edition, Lucknow; Translation is 
by Shea and Troyer. 



Fiidousi, 243N47 

Fire ordeal, 190N22 

Fire worship (see Zoroastnans* 

FirozKhan, 216N1 

Firoz Tushluq, 6, 7. 228N16, 230, 

235N25. 237 
Fitch. 183, I97N33, 208 
Forty, 257 

Fraud of Jagirdars, 87-93 
Freemasons, 277 
French Revolution, 90 

Gabriel, 256 

Ganga Bai, 13 

GanjBaksh. UN 17 

Ghazni, Mahmud (see Mahmud 
Gazm) 5, 230 

Ghori, Sahabudd'n Muhammad, 5 

Gibbon, 105N9, 245 

Gita, 238 

Ghazi (Killer of Infidel) ,32 

God 2 6. 13,21. 26, 27, 29, 30, 
34,42,53, 72,89, 118, 146, 186, 
190, 193,228,234, 266, 289, 281, 
283, 287 294, 302 307, 308 

Gopinath, 139 

Granth Sahib 'Sikh Religious 
Book), 164 

Grierson, 140N9 

Giimon.Leo, 199,200, 204 

Gudai, Shaikh, 58, 108, 130 

Guerreiro, 177, 178N10. 192 

Gulbadan Begum. 194, 195 

Gulraj, J. P, 52N10 

Gulrukh Begum, 129N4 

Guru (Master), 15, 16, 162, 163, 


Guru Shishya (Pir-Murid, Master 

and Disciple), 21, 22 
Gustav von Buchwald, 176, 177 
Guzman, 178NIO 


Ha^is (Traditions), 24, 80, 87, 

113, 122, 130, 134, 218N8 219, 

248, 281N16 

Hafiz, 2, 302 . 

Haj (Pilgrimage). 76, Haj dept., 

76, Mir-i-Haj, 77, 78, 220, 253, 


Haii Abdulla, 110, 172 

Haji Ibrahim (see Ibrahim Hnji 

H'jri Eia, 81, 220N122 243, 244 

Hakim Ain-ul Mulk, 262, 274 

Hakim Humayun (Human), 120, 

Hakim, Miiza Muhammad, 90, 91, 
92, 93, 108N15, 241 

Hakim Nuruddin, 132 

Hakim-ul-Mulk, 271 

Hakluyat Society Journal, 175N6 

Halal (prohibited", 225 

Hamadani, Qazi, 285 

Hamida Banu Begam, 43N44 

Hammer-Purgstall, 106N11 

Hanuman, 139 

Hanafi (a School of Law of Islam), 
85N37, 227 

Happy Sayings,, 276, 277N3 

Haram (Prohibited), 225, 302 

Hari, 14N25 

Harold Lamb, 32N18, 36N29 

Harsha, 16 

Harun-ur-Rashid, 230, 237, 246N41, 

Hasan, 11,52, 54, 130 

Hasan Nizami 5 

Hayes, 11 ON 18 

Hazar Shu'a, 153 

Hazrat, 14N25 

Hebrew, 302N56 

Hemu (Hem Chandra), 44, 50 

Henry VIII, 112 

Hera?, Father, 71N3, 116, 160N9, 
161N13, 163, 167, 168 

Hiranand Sastri 160 

Hira Vijaya, 158, 159, 160, 162, 
182, 192 

Hira Vijaya Kalyan, 159N8 

Hindi, 254 

Hindus, 1,3,7, 10, 12, 16, 17, 21, 
34 43,46,48,49,50,51, 52, 82, 
117, 118 119, 120, 126; at the 
court of Akbar, 135-147; 161, 
180 203, 209, 210.213-15,223, 
224* 238. 244, 247. 248, 258, 260, 
261, 268. 271, 272, 273, 284, 
287N23, 293. 294, 303, 306 

Hindu learned men, 138 

Hindu wives, 143, 144N21, 154, 


Hiran Minar, 117 
Holy Roman Empire, 207 
Horn, 151, 154 
Horovitz, 6N8 

Hosain, Husain (Qazi), 79, 228 
Howorth, 27N4, 28N7, 235N26 



Hughes 39N37, 103N6 

Hulaku Khan, 28 

Humayuri.41,42, 43, 44, 50, 83, 
97, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 112, 
121. 122, 129, 136, 143N18, 
152N8, 213N1. 234 

Hunting, 160, 220, 231, 247 

Husaini, Brahmin, 11 

1. H. Quarterly, 159N8, I61N13 
Ibadat Khana (Iradat Khana, 
lyadat Khana), 67. 68, 70, 72, 
76. 87. 95, 96, 106, 116, 125, 
126 131, 132, 134. 135, 143, 145 
147, 151, 154, 157, 158, 163, 165, 
K6, 168, 169, 171, 226. 248, 
254,257, 266, 268, 291; Contri- 
bution to the Dini-llahi 294, 

Iblis, 233 
Ibrahim Haji, 75 221, 227, 228, 

229, 230, 239 
Ibrahim Qazi, 227 
Ibrahim Sarhindi. 124, 138, 268 
Ibrahim Shah. 21 6N1 
Ibu Hasan, 94N52, 126N16 
Idolaters, 49 
llahi, llahia (Sectl, 241; rebellion 

94, 285N20 

Ilahian (Member of the Din i llahi) 
263,266,288,293, 303,305, 308 
llahi Era, 223, 258 - 
Illum'nati, 277 
Illumination, 155, 6N16 
Iltutmish,6. 103N6. 104 228N16 
Imam, 88 115, 128N1 
Imam-iAdil 100 113, 114 
Imam Malik, 78 131, 227 
Imam Mehdi (see Mehdi move- 
Incarnation, 127N1. 146, 147, 189, 


Indian Antiquary, 309N9 
Indian Review, 136N2 
Initiation to the Din-i-IIahi, 284 
Injunction, 218N8 
Insan-i Kamil. 234 
Institutes of Timur (see Malfuzat-i- 

Timuri, Davy's Translation) 
Islam, 1,3,4,5. 6, 7 16, 17, 21, 
22,24,32,34,36, 38,41, 42, 57 
60, 79, 80, 83, 103, 127, 128, 133, 

135, 136, 138, 141, 145, 154, 178, 
189, 190, 191, 192, 218, 219, 230, 
234N24, 239, 240, 241, 242, 250, 
262, 264, 265, 266, 281, 284, 290, 
295, 302, 303, 305, 307, 309 

Islam Shah, 2 16N1 (c). 

Islam Shah of Pirana 10, 11 

Ismail 11,97, 105, 106, 110, 121 

Ismailis, 290 

Itmad Khan, 63 


J R.A.S., 85N35, 89N45, 120N1, 
121N2, 122N3. 124N16, 130N7, 
144N21. 152N9, 160N9 161N2, 
165N1, 168N7, 171N2 189N22 
191N27, 192N28 198N34 232N20 
235N28, 268NI.275N15 
Jadrup Narayan, 139 
Jafar Beg, 292 
lagat Guru, 160 
ai?ir, JagircW, 46, 48. 66, 89, 91, 

93, 217 

Jahanara, 169N10 
Jahangir (see Salim, Prince) 
Jahaz-i-Ilahi 'Pilgrim Ship), 63N39, 

77, 231,253 
Jai Singh, 70N1 

Jain, 6, 82; at the court of Akbar, 
157-162. 169. 203,231, 232, 303. 
304, 305, 306 
faina Shasan* 157N106 
falalKhan, 213N1 
alaluddin Qazi, 79, 229 
alaluddinRumi.299, 302 
famaluddin. Mir, 15IN7 
nma't. 218N8 
iami. 302 
Jehad, 5 87,89, 169, 186. 191, 192. 

|esu Chiisto (see Christ) 
Jesuit, 170. 171, 173, 175. at the 
court of Akbar 178-180, 237, 
238, 290 

Jesus (see Christ) 2, 3, 82, 151 ; at 
the court of Akbar, 170-212, 265, 

lewels(NawRatan), 137N6 
iezia(PollTax),7, 18,51,78, 136 
jhali, (queen), 14 
Joseph the carpenter, 190 
Judaism, 169 170 
Julian, Perreriah. 171, 172 




Ka'ba, 35 

Kaba-i-Muradat, 302 

Kabir, 13, 14,24; Dohas, 11 

Kabir Parithis, 15,22 

Kaikobad, 150 

Kakas (Hindu Sect), 12 

Kalema, 8, 305 

Kali, 12 

Kalka Mai (Hindu goddess*, 9 

Kamal, 12 

Kamal Pasha, 151N5 

Kamal.. 13 

Kanishka, 70N1 

Kararani, 45 

Karim Shah, 12 

Karkaria, 148, 149 

Kaioris, 78, 87 88 

Kayestha, 15 

Kayuk Khan 238 

Kazalbash (Head dress), 250 

Kennedy, Pringle, 25, 26N1, 

27N5, 35N27 
Khafi Khan, 41, 45, 137N7. 

249N48 274 
Khairatpura (see Alms hcuse), 


Khakshafa, 16 
Khaiid, 38 
Khalid Khani, 237 
Khalifa, 3, 5, 7, 32, 33, 40, 42, 83. 

85,91, 103. 104, 105, 107, 110, 

111, 112, 121, 127NI. 128, 

I97N33, 225, 237, 255, 267, 304, 


Khalifa urRashedin, 106, 128 
Khalifat ul-lillah, 7, 33 34, 104 
Khalifat-uz-7aman, 84, 104, 105 

111,112, 179N33 

Khalsa lands, 89 j 

Khan Jalan, 75 j 

Khan Zama^, 59 i 

Khasrau, 164 
Khawbag I69N10 
Khelafa*. 32. 34. 39, 83, 84, 103, 

104, 105, 106, 110, 112, 240N35, 


Khelat, 39 

Khirad Afza, 269, 273 
Khodawanda, 97, 110 
Khushphaham 160N11. 162 
Khutba, 33, 41, 66. 84, 87, 106, 

107, 111, 112, 220, 232, 240 
Kika, 269, 270 
Killing of animals forbidden (see 

Cow), 31 

Kitabul Ahadis, 269 

Koka (see Aziz Koka) 

Kokultash, 137N6 

Kossacks, 31 

Krishna, 9 

Kubbi Khan, 28, 29, 30, 70N1, 82, 

197, 237 

Kulliyat-i Nazir, 12 
Kurnish, 234 
Kutubuddin, 194, 195 

Lakshmi, 9 

Lama (Buddhist priest), 30, 165 

Lane-Poole. 1N2, 44N1 , 93N49 

Last Judgment 193 

Law (see also Shariat), 125;tes of 

laws, 225226, 251, 271 
Laotze, 70Nl(f>) 
Legislations of Akbar (Ains), 216- 


Leioton, Edward, 199 
Lilabati, 138 
Lohani Afghans, 45 
Louis, Saint, 45 
Lunar Calculation (sec Eia), 71N2, 

243, 244 


Ma'sharti, 261 

Macauliff, 14N25 

Machado, 208, 211 

Maclagan 180 191 N26, I99N35, 

200, 202, 204N41, 205N45, 

Madad-i-Ma'ash,63, 221, 239, 268, 


Madhu Bhatta, 139 
Madhu Saraswali 136,138 
Madhu Sudan, 138 
Madrasa , 254 
Mai?ti (Hindu god), 9 
Mahabharat (see Sacred Books , 

138. 140, 144, 269 
Mahadev iHindu god), 14, 70, 141 
Mahadev Physician), 136 
Maham Anaga, 45, 135, 145 
Mahapurushiya Cult, 15 
Mahamaya, 141 
Mahrnud Gawan. 49 
Mahmud, Sultan of Ghazni (also 



Sultan Mahmud), 4, 5, 6, 230, 


Mahratta, 1 16 
Mahyarji Rama, Dastur, 118, 148, 

149, 151N7, 158, 159, 181. 182 
Mahzar (Infallibility Decree of 

Smith). 40N40, 65. 66. 85, 89, 97, 

appendix, 98-115, 155, 197N32, 

Mai mans of Kutch, 9 
Ma'in-uddin-Chisti, 53, 270 
Ma 'in ul Mulk (Miiza), 91 
Majlis-ul-Muminin, 133 
Maktab, 88, 94 
Malcom, History of Persia, 37N31, 

Sketch, 163N3 
Malfuzat-i-Timuri (st*e Timur), 

6N10, 9, 23, 36N30, 41N42, 245 
Malik Muhammad Jaisi, 12, 18 
Maliki Arab Husain, 79 
Malkana, Rajput, 10 
Malleson 157 
Mamun, 306N5 
Mansabdar, 218 
Mangu Khan, 28 
Man Singh, 64,214 
Mansur (Khalifa), 93N51, 230, 237 
Marriage (see also Mu'tah), 82, 

125, 131 ; of Hindu widows, 145, 

220, 222, 226, 227, 228, 250, 259; 

registration of, 264, 272 
Mars Chamber, 51N5 
Martin, F. R., 38N32 
Mary, 190, 266 
Mary, Queen of Scots, 106 
Masjid (Mosque), 85, 88, 94, 254, 


Masjid-i-Zaiar, 273 
Masnad-i-Imarat, 108 
Masu n Khan Farankhudi, 91 
Masum Khan Kabuli, 90 
Mati Dhawja, 30, 31 
Mazhab, 258, 261 
Malta Kunbis, 1 1 
Mehdist (see Imam Mehdi, Mehdi 

movement), 23, 80, 123, 131, 

290 295, 305 

Milad-un-Nabi, 251 

Mildenhall, 184,211 

Mirabai, 24 

Miradi of Amritsar, 9 

Mirak of Masud, 59 

Mir Habsi, 58 

Mir Hakim, Moqim of Isphahan, 


Mir i-Haj (see Haj) 
Mir Sayid of Jaunpur, 23 

MirTaqi, 238N31 

Mirza, 60, 109 

Mitza Hakim (see Hakim) 

Mirza Hasan Ali, 12 

Mirza Jani Thatta, 29, 241, 293 

Mirza Rebellion, 60 

Mission (to A's court) 1st, 186-198; 

2nd, 198-201; 3rd, 201 211, 255 
Miyan Tansen (see Tan Sen) 
Mobed, 118, 151, 152, 154, 156, 

168, 238, 303, 304 
Modi. J f., 149N2 
Mohsin Fani (see Dabistan-i-Maza- 

Mongol, 5, 6, 7, 29, 31, 40, 46, 120, 

Monserate, 187N19, 188, 190, 191, 

I92N28, 197 
Moon see Lunar Era), 7IN2, 243, 


Moon Chamber, 5 1N5 
Moreland, 183, 193 
Moses, 151, 170 
Mosque (see Mas j id) 
Mu'awiya, 249 
Mu'azzambashi, 38 
Mu'az7in, 252, 285 
Mubarak (Shaikh), 58, 64, 65, 75, 

99, 100, 101, 123, 131, 268, 276, 

277. 292 

Mubariz Khan, 213N1, 290, 294 
Mufti, 55 
Mughals (sec Mongols), 27,29,31, 

35, 115, 116, 143, 175, 182, 183, 

185, 187, 188, 189, I92N28, 194, 

198,207,211,276, 277N2 
Muhammad, Prophet, 3, 5, 12, 14, 

16, 21, 32, 35,50, 57, 74N11, 81, 

85,98, 133, 181, 189, 202, 203, 

209, 222, 225, 237, 244, 245, 249, 

251, 252, 255, 256, 265, 273. 

284N76, 302, 306N5 
Muhammad Ghaus, Shaikh, 271 
Muhammad Ghori, 5 
Muhammad Hakim Mitza (see 

Muhammad Hosain Azad (see 

Muhammad Khodawanda, 97 
Muhammad Mirak Masad, 59 
Muhammad Niyazi (see Abdulla 

Muhammad Niyazi"! 
Muhammad Qilha, Khawaja, 56 
Muhammad Sahdad, 292 
Muhammad Tughluq, 104N6 
Mujtahid, 6, 80, 98, 1 14, 227, 281 
Mukhdum Sayid Ali, 1 1 




Mukhdum-ul-Mulk (sec Abdulla 

Mukherjee, Indian Shipping, 195N30 

Mulla, 60, 62, 63, 64, 74, 75, 79, 90, 
93,94, 100, 104, 112, 124, 125, 
126, 131, 134, 137, 145, 152, 153, 
172N3, 178, 179, 192, 217,218, 
219, 229. 242,268,269,270.271, 
278,291, 294, 304. 305, 307 

Mulla Sher., 138, 140, 233 

Muluk Shah, 271 

Muntakhabu-t Twarikh (see Bada- 

Murad, Prince, 188, 192, 193,201, 
206, 237, 273 

Murad IV 'Khalifal. 97, 109 

Murad of Persia, 107 

Muiid (see Pir Murid), 21, 22, 284 


Muslim 'Muhammadan, Musalman , 
1,3, 8,9, 13, 17, 20, 21,23.24, 
31,34,39,40, 41, 103, 105, 109, 
111, 114, 115N23, 118, 119, 125, 
133, 136, I37N7, 144, 147, 155, 
157, 169, 179, 180N15, 191, 208, 
209, 210, 218, 219N9, 231, 244, 
248,249, 251,258, 260,261,267, 

Mustafa, 222, 258, 306 

Mu'taH (see Marriage), 79 

Mutwali, 269N6 

Muzaffar fof Tandai, 71 

Muzaffar Khan. 196 


Nadir-i-Zaman, 160M1. 162 
Najatur Rashid. 72N20 
Nala Damayanti, 138 
Namaz (see Prayer^ 
Namaz-i-Tuhajjud, 225 
Namdev, 14 
Nanak, 14, 22 
Nara Singh, 138 
Narayan Hariji Sur, 138 
Narayan Mishra, 138 
Nassau Lees, 275 
National Magazine, 92N46 
Nawruz, Nawruz-i-jalali, 142, 155, 

221, 242 

Nestorian Christianity, 8, 9, 28, 29, 

30N13, 70N1 

Newbury, 197 

Nikah. 227 

Niyazi (see Abdulla Niyazi) 

Nizam Husain, 110 

Nizamuddin Historian), see also 
Tabqat-i-Akbari, 73, 166, 204, 
205N57, 228N6, 252N56, 276N1 

Nizamuddin Awliya, 24 

Nuruddin, 92, 129 

Nuruddm Ahmad, 129N4 

Nuruddin Omar, 104 

NurullaQazi. 132, 133 

Nuyun Karacha', 33N40 


Oath of Allegiance, 240, 243 

Oju, 63 

Omar (Khalifa >, 3, 128, 237, 243, 


Omar Khayyam. 243 
Omar Shaikh, 39 
Ommiyads, 128 
Ordeal, 190^22 
Oriente Conquistado, IPO 
Osman (Khalifa), 74N11, 106, 

128N 1,255 
Ottoman, 33, 60, 83, 106 

Pabos, 235N25 

Padmabat, 12, 18 

Padshah, 130 

Padshah Nama fA. H. Lahori), 

Painting, 1 16 
PanchPir, 10 
Pandit, 30, 260 
Paracletes, 193 
Paramindra, 138 
Parsees, Parsis (see Zoroastrian), 

118, 152, 154, 155 
Pathan, 7, 136 
Paul, St., 186 
Payne (also Du Jarric), 154N15, 

172N3, 176, 176, 176N7, 177, 

180, 183, 197N33, 205, 207N54, 


Persian Language, 254, 255 
Peswa, 116 
Peter Dias, 71 



Phagspa, 30 

Pilgrim 'Pilgiimage), 76, 77N16, 

78, 124, 162, 191, 195, 222, 230, 

231, 244,252,253, 294 
Pilgrim traffic, 171N2, 217, 230, 

231, 253 
Pmherio, 185, 201, 207, 208, 209, 


Pir, 21, 22 
Pir Badar, 10 
Pir Muhammad Khan, 5 1 
Pir Muridi (see Guiu Shishya) 
Polytheism, 6 
Poor House (See KhairatpuraJ 

Pope 29, 64, 84, 99, 104, 207, 208, 

Portuguese, 55, 64, 170, 171, 172; 
criticism of Portuguese writers, 
173, 174, 175, 178, 182, 183, 184, 
185, 187, 194, 195, 197, 202, 206. 
207,210, 273, 278 

Portuguese possessions, 171N1 

Prayers of Islam, 250 

Priests, 278 

Prophet (see Muhammad) 

Prostitute regulation, 221, 246 

Prostration (see Sijdah) 

Purushottam, 140 

Pyam-i Amin, 74N11 

Qamargah Hunt (see Hunting), 

Qanun, 246N41 

Qanun-i-Islam, 144N21, 251N53 

Qaraish, 81 

Qara Yusuf 33 

Qaaim Kahi, 289 

Qasim, Muhammad Bin, 3, 4 

Qayemuddin, 38 

Qazi,5l,61,62, 78, 79,85,86, 88, 
90,93, 123, 127, 131, 132, 185, 

Qibla-i-Hajat 232 

Quakers, 21 

Qublei Khan, 82 

Quesek, 147, 194 

Quliz Khan, 209, 210 

Quran, 1, 2, 3, 15, 21, 23, 24, 50, 

^57 74,75 77,88,97,98,99, 102, 
115, 122, 128, 130, 134, 153, 
181, 189, 193, 203, 218, 219; 
Commentary, 221, 222, 229, 
233N22, 255, 256, 264, 265, 270, 

280,285, 288; quotations from 
Quran, 296-302, 305, 306, 307 


Radha, 20 

Rai Das, Ravi Das, 14, 22 

Raj jab ji, 15 

Rajput, 44, 119, 136, 248, 256, 

Rakhi, 145, 155, 194 

Ralph. 184 

Ram, 10, 15, 18 

Ramanand, 13, 24 

Ramayan, 138, 248 

Rambhadia, 139 

Ram Chandra, 139, 141 

Ram Das, 162, 163, 164, 165, 182 

Ram Pran Gupta, 50N5 

RamTirtha, 137 

Ramzan, 1 1 

Raiia Kika (see Kika), 269, 270 

RasulShahi, 10 

Rawat-i-Akab, 59 

Rebellion of Mirzas (see Hakim) 

Rehatsak, 152N9, 202N38 

Relacam, 176, 178N10 

Roman, 120,249,290 

Rudolf (&ee AquavivaJ 

Rubrukis, 30 

Rumi Era, 243 

Rum (see Jalaluddin Rumi) 

Saber, 24 

Sachau, 31N17 

Sacred Books, 138, 181, 190, 230, 

233, 236 
Sada-Sohag Sect, 9 

Sadi, 296-301, 302 

Sadiq Nihang, 9 

Sadr,51, 56,57, 63, 75, 76, 78, 85, 

86 94, 101; list of Sadrs, 122, 

124, 126 

Sadr-us-Sudur (see Abdu-n Nabi) 
Sadr Jahan's Sons, 293 
Safavi, 110, 128 
Sahib Khan, 158 
Sahibuddin Khan, 148 
Sakya Pandit, 30 
Salim (also Jahangir), 72, 76, 78, 



117, 118, 144, 162. 176, 197, 205, 

211, 223, 245, 250, 256, 259, 274, 

284, 292N3, 293, 306 
Salim Chisti, 54, 58, 60, 70, 71, 72, 

99, 100, 162 

Salim the Grim, 97, 105, 106. 109 
Salima Be gam, 129N4 
Sam an (Shraman, SramarO, See 


Sanatan Goswami, 15 
Sangram Singh, 53N12 
Sanjak, 4 1 
Sannyasi, 1 17 
Sanskrit, 17, 20 
Sarkar, Jadunath, I44N20 
Sati,223, 261 

Sauras (Sun worshippers), 151 
Sayid (generally spelt as Sayyad, 

Sayid), 101, 188, 235N28 
Sayid Ahmad, 23 
Sayid Hasan, 15 
Sayid Khan, 210 
SayidMirFathulla, 252 
Sayid Muhammad of Amboa, 63 
Sayurghal lands, 61, 78, 124, 218 
Seals of Akbar 'see Chronogram), 


Sekandar Lodi, 1,7, 13, 70N1, 259 
Sekandar Shah, 216N1 
Semitic, 16, 21 

Sen, Dinesh Chandra, 12N21 
Sen, K. M., 11, 12N22. 15, 140N10 
Sepoy Mutiny, 34, 103N6 
Shah Baz, 22, 92 
Shah Ismail ,40, 197 
Shahjahan, 1 15N23. 185, 197N33 
ShahMansur, 91, 92,240 
Shah Muhammad Mirza, 278 
Shahnama (Firdaus.J, 39, 248N47 
Shah Rukh, 37, 97 
Shah Tahmasp, 83, 87, 97, 107, 

108, 109, 110, 112N21, 129, 240, 

Shaikh, 6, 35, 36, 37, 72, 73, 101, 

102, 234 
Shaikh Ali, 23 

Shaikhzada Gosla Benarasi, 293 
Shaitanpura, 246 
ShankarDev, 15 
Shariat, 54, 55, 57, 69; -Canon of 

Test of, 224, 267, 271 
Sharif, 101, 239 

Sharif? -Festival), 155, 156N (IV) 
Sharif of Amal, 27 1,292, 293 
Shast, 280, 285, 286 
Shaving of beards, 240 
Shea and Troyer (see Dabistan) 

Sher Shah Sur, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50 
77N18, 114, 137N7, H45, 2I6N1, 
228N16, 249, 259, 260 

Sheri, Mulla, 153 

Shia, 32, 33,34,39,40,41,52, 53, 
55,59,61,62, 76N14, 80,83,84, 
85. 89, 93, 100, 105, 106, 107, 
108, 111, 112, 113, 114, 121; 
Shias at court, 127-136; 152, 169, 
216,227,241,242, 270,272,290, 

Shia-i-Taj, 40, 107, 121 

Shibli, Maulana, 130 

Sibratri, 11 

Sidi Ali Katibi, 84 

Simn, 81 

Sijdah (see Prostration), 188N20, 
220, 232, 233, 235 

Sijdah-i-Tazim, 234 

Sikhs at the court of Akbar, 82, 
162-165; 306 

Silk, 222, 249 

Sitala (goddess of pox), 9 

Sivaratri, 1 1 

Smith i author of Akbar the Great 
Mogul, 45N2, 59N32, 63, 65N40, 
85, 88N39, 90, 93N50, 94N52, 99, 
100, 102, 103, 108N15, 120, 
126N16, 135, 144N1 , 152NIO, 
158N4, 160N10, 161N13, 162NI5, 
175, 187, 193, 194, 195N30, 
199N35, 200, 203, 206, 207N45, 
211, 233, 240, 241, 242, 245N40, 
249,251,252, 263N63, 266,275, 
282,285, 291,307,308 

Sokoli (see Vizier Sokoln 

Sradh (see Feasts after death), 222 

SriBhatia, 139 

Sri Vikshu Vijaya, 166N1 

St. Paul, 186 

Sufi, 15, 21; Sufi terms, 22N27, 
23, 25, 43, 54,69, 72 117, 120, 
127, 141, 153, 256, 265 269, 270, 
280,282, 284N16, 295, 296-302; 
303, 304, 306 

Sufi Ahmad, 292 

Suleiman Karaiani, 66, 67, 70N1 (e) 

Suleiman of Badakshan, 68 

Suleiman of Rum, 83 

Suleiman Wazir, 230N 1,235 

Sulh-i-Kul, 52, 88, 136 

Sultan-i-Adil, 1 14 

Sultan Khawaja, 110,292 

Sunnat-i-Ghair Mu'kkada, 224 

Sunnat-i-Mu*kkada, 221 

Sunni, 32, 33, 39, 40, 41, 55, 60, 
80, 82, 84, 105, 109, 110, 111, 



112, 113, 115, 121; Sunnis at 
Court, 121-128, 131, 133, 134, 
138, 168, 227, 236, 271, 290, 

Sun (Solar), 119, 142, 152, 153, 
154, 161, 259,270,295, 303 

Sur Dynasty, 50, 97, 216 

Surdas, 139, 140, 181 

Surja Shahasra Nama, 153, 160, 

Swastika, 286 

Syriac, 305 


Tabarra, Modhe-Sahaba, 80N2 
Tabqat-i-Akbar> (see Nizamuadin) 
Tahmasp isce Shah Tahmasp) 
Tajuddin, 220, 232, 233, 281, 294 


Taki Shustar, 293 
Tansen (Miyan Tansen), 136, 137- 


Tantra, 9, 181 
Taqi 13 

Tarikhi Af 8 hana,44Nl 
TarkhiAlfi, 221,244,270 
TarikhiDaudi, 70N1 
Tarikhi Firoz Shahi, 7N1 1, 228N16 
Tarikhi Ilahi, 151. 152 
Tarikhi Rashidi, 106N10 
Tasbih-mala, 16 
Taslim, 234, 306 
Tauhid Ilahi (see Din-i-Ilahi> 
Terry, 210 
Test Act, 240 
Testament (Old*, 189 
Thebes, 34N20 
Thomas (Saint), 193 
Thomas Rce, 184 
Tiger meat, 248 
Timur, 1,6,7, 31,32, 33, 35, 36, 

37,39, 41N42, 44, 64, 84, 104, 

105, 115, 121, 144, 159, 197,236, 

245, 247 
Timurids, 26, 38, 39N36, 87, 

89N42, 103, 104, 105, 108, 109, 

129, 137,247 
Titus, 1N3, 5N6, 121N1 
Todar Mai, 64, 91, 126, 137N7, 

195N30, 214 
Toleration to Christians, 224, 264, 


Translations (see Sacred Books) 
Transmigration of Soul, 16, 

122N27, 141N14 

Trinity (Christian), 189, 190, 191, 

Trinity (Hindu), 12, 146 

Tripathi, R. P., 1 15N23, 235N25 

Tritton, 267N65 

Tudors, 84, 285N17 

Tulsidas, 138, 139, 181 

Turban, 285 

Turks (also Turki culture), 4, 5, 6, 
7,8, 31,35,40,83, 135, 136, 143, 
159, 183, 216, 248, 259, 272, 304 

Turko-Afghans, 47 

Tuzuk, 49 

Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, 285N18, 307 


! Ulag Beg, 38, 84, 1 1 1 

I Ulama, 37, 55,72, 73, 74, 81, 84, 

| 85, 268 

Utbi, 5 

Uzbeg,84, 216 


Vaishnavism, 12, 13, 15 

Vakil, 56N24, 133, 274, 281 

Vasco da gama, 174 

Vayle, Felix, 30N 12, 35N26 

Veda, 11, 138, 181,220,230,295 

Vedanta, 21, 302 

Venus, 151N6 

Vikshu, 305 

Vijaya Sen Suri, 159 

Virgin, 176, 199,266 

Vishnu, 18 

Vizier Sokoli, 110,230,240 

Von Noer, 157, 205, 277, 281 


Wajeb, 221 
Wansal, 52 
Wazir Jamil, 91 
Wells, H. G., 28 
William Kaiser, 34N24 
Wine, 41,42,221,244,245 
Wives, 191, 199N35 
Wolsey Haig, 309N9 
Worship of Fire, Planets, Stars, 
Sun, 142, 143N18, 151N5 




Xavier, Father, 179NI1, 185, 201, 
203, 204, 206, 207,210,211 

YaHu, Ya Hadi, 53, 59, 101, 

Yakub Qazi, 78, 227 
Yavana Hari Das, 1 3 
Yazdan, 156 

Yazdi Mulla Muhammad, 133 
Yodha Bai, 143, 144 
Yodhistir, 143 
Yoga, 9, 12, 15, 22N27, 143, 153, 

239, 303 

Yoga-Vasista, 138 
Yogi s , 13, 50, 117, 118, 119, 153, 

154, 181, 258, 259, 287N23 
Yusuf Ali, 307, 308 
Yusuf of Khaput, 121 

Yusuf bin Tashfin, 104N6 
Yazdi, 133 

Zakat, 76N11 

Zainul Abedin, 237 

Zaman Khan, 59 

Zamin Bos, 232, 235, 285, 287 

Zamorm, 174 

Zend Avesta, 140, 148 

Zeus, 34 

Ziauddin Barni (see Tarikh-i-Firoz 

ZiaUlla, Maulana,7l 

Zich-i-Ulag Beg, 38 

Zikar, 53N13, 153 

Zoo, 247 fl _ 

Zoroastrian 'see Parsees), 31, OA 
118, 119; at the Court of 
Akbar; 147-156; 161, 166, 181, 
194, 203, 216, 237, 303, 306 

Zulqarnain, 197N33 

Zunnar, 152 

Z.unnardar, 7 


(The numbers refer to page.s ; ' N ' refers to Foot Note. When the 
same word occurs twice or more in the same page, they have been 
entered only once in the Index. \ 

Afghanistan, 285N20 

Africa, 26 

Agra, 77NI7, 79, 94, 100, 1 16, 139, 

159, 191,206,208,210 
Ahamadabad, 39, 158 
Ajmer, 1, II, 60, 64,76, 101, 119, 

122, 269, 270 
Allepo, 32, 35 
Allahabad, 160, 212 
Amarkot, 42, 43 
Amboa, 105 
Amber, 135 
Amritsar, 9, 163 
Angora, 33, 105 
Arabia, 4, 8, 103, 105, 128, 150, 

244, 250, 259, 304 
Ardbil, 42 
Armenia, 35 
Asia, 31 
Asirgarh (Khandesh), 185, 206, 


Assam, 15 
Azar Baijan, 38 


Badr, 3, 265 

Bagdad, 24, 25, 28, 32, 37, 93N31, 

104, 205 

Badakshan, 110,213 
Bakkar, 95 

Basakwan, 1 10, 213, 235N28 
Bay of Bengal, 170 
Behar, 45, 89, 90, 94, 192, 240, 249, 


Benaras, 157 
Bengal, 10, 13, 76,89,90,92,93, 

94, 126, 170, 192,240,252,294 
Bhagalpur, 92N46 
Bhambar, 273 
Bijapur, 175 
Butsar, 194, 195 
Byzantium, 35 

Cambay, 55 

Caspian Sea, 42, 132 

Central Asia, 4. 13, 16, 26, 27, 

42, 53, 55, 127, 167, 216, 235, 

236, 237, 248, 251, 294, 295, 303, 


Ceylon, 165, 168 
Chaul, 202, 206 
Childrin, 106 

China, 8, 29, 30, 82, 128, 259 
Chitor, 53, 123,248,271 
Constantinople (Rum), 33N21, 83, 

111, 112, 121, 197N33, 240 
Corsica, 34N24 

Damascus, 35, 194, 195 
Deccan, 206, 208, 227 
Delhi, 42, 44, 45, 50, 94, 103N6, 
107, 108, 216, 262, 274 

Egypt, 106,253 

Europe, 5, 83, 110, 171, 174, 179, 

182, 183, 191, 197N33, 198, 202, 


Fargana, 39, 40 

Fatehpur (Sikri), 64, 70, 72N6, 78, 

82, 139, 172, 174, 187, 193, 198, 


Ganges, 32, 92N46 
Georgia, 6, 34, 109, 110 



Ghazipur, 67 

Ghazni, 5, 244 

Ghor, 5 

Gilan, 132 

Goa, 168, 171N1, 172, 173, 175, 
179, 180, 182, 183, 186, 191, 194, 
196, 197, 199, 200, 201, 205, 253 

Guzrat, 55, 58, 64, 73, 100, 108, 
148, 170, 209, 216, 253 


Hajipur, 94 

Hamadan, 286 

Hindustan (India), 31, 34,42,45, 
71,83,97, I04N'6, 105, 109, 110, 
112, 114. 129, 130, 136, 140 
142N16, 144, 148, 165, 212, 216, 

India 'see Hindustan) 
Iran see Persia) 

Jaunpur, 90, 93 
Jerusalem, 3 
Jumna, 1 


Kabul, 83, 93, 105, 107. 158, 159 

Kankrnkhari, 148 

Kashmir, 1, 44, 168, 204, 216, 234, 


Katl.ivvar, 162 
Khandesh 'see Asirgarh) 

Laban, 25, 132, 133 

Lahore, 11, 133, 161. 163, 164, 193, 

202, 203, 204, 208, 209, 210, 211, 

253, 266, 269, 286 
Lisbon, 165, 186, 205 
London, 308 


Madras, 9 

Malwa, 16, 32 

Mecca, 57, 63, 77, 101, 102, 105 

125, 126, 142, 179, 191, 192, 231, 

238, 253, 260 
Medina, 63, 77, 252 
Mediterranean, 32 
Mewar, 16 
Moscow, 32 


Nagor, 58 

Navasari, 148, 158. 168 

Nepal, 213 

Nevil, 77N16 

Orissa, 45 
Ormuz, 191N24 
Oudh, 92 

Panipat, 44, 89 

Paris, 70N1 

Patna, 150 

Pekin, 32, 70N1 

Persia, 22, 39, 41, 42, 52,83,84, 
85, 97, 103, 104, 105, 107, 108, 
109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 121, 
128, 129, 130, 135, 150, 155, 240, 
244, 250, 283, 294, 304, 305 

Poland, 32 

Poona, 116, 151N17 

Portugal, 186, 187 

Punjab, 8, 9, 10, 12,92,94, 192, 

Puskar, 11 

Qandahar, 93, 95, 107, 109,221 

Ranthambar, 234 
Rome, 198N34,201 



Rum (Constantinople*, 33, 83, 103, 

III, 112, 121, 137 
Ru3sia, 31, 259 

Sahibganj, 92 

Samarkand (Samarqand), 83, 104, 

115, 129 

Sarhind, 44, 89, 288 
Sassaram, 48 
Seistan, 35 
Shiraz, 245 252 
Sikri (ace Fatehpur) 
Sind, 22, 43, 200, 261, 295 
Sirusti, I 

Spain, 4, I04N6, 201, 202, 205 
Surat, 64, 171, I95N30 

Surin, 213 
Syria, 3 

Tabriz, 295 
Teliaghari, 92 
Thatta, 241, 293 
Tibet, 25, 65, 168 
Transoxiana, 43, 110, 129, 155 
Turkey, 99, 105, 250 


Ukraine, 31 

Vijaynagar, 45, 


u 4j i